The United States legal system typically operates under two types of law — civil and criminal. A civil law case is treated much differently than a criminal law case, and vice versa. To start with, criminal actions are complaints brought by the state or federal government on behalf of the people against parties accused of violating the law. This means even though one person might kill another, murder is considered a crime to everyone in society. Civil actions, on the other hand, are non-criminal actions involving private rights and compensations.
Other differences include:
Because so much is at stake during a criminal trial, criminal cases have much more stringent protections in place and are more difficult to prove. If you are accused of a crime, you should retain an Indiana criminal defense lawyer immediately to ensure your rights are protected.
Even though criminal and civil cases are treated differently, sometimes the same act can result in both criminal and civil liability. A well-known example of this is the O.J. Simpson trial. After a criminal trial failed to find Simpson guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a civil jury found him guilty of wrongful death by a preponderance of evidence. An Indiana criminal defense attorney can answer any questions you have about the criminal law process.