Criminal Vs. Civil Law

Criminal vs. Civil Law

Anyone facing a lawsuit or criminal charges will understandably be stressed and overwhelmed. But in these situations, it is imperative to learn as much as one can about their situation and what to do moving forward. Knowing the difference between criminal and civil law is the first and most basic step in this process.

Criminal law

Criminal law is the area of the law dealing with violations against the government. Municipalities, states, and the federal government all draw up laws that people have to abide by. These are criminal laws and are treated more seriously than any other form of law. Anyone charged with a criminal law has the potential to lose their liberty by being put in jail or prison. The use of a Philly criminal lawyer is absolutely essential. It helps ensure that a person has the best defense possible against the charges they are facing.

Civil law

On the other hand, civil law does not deal with violations of criminal law. Instead, it mainly deals with torts. A tort is a violation against another person rather than the state. Torts can be anything from slander against a person’s reputation to a fall on their property. The main focus of violations in the world of civil law is money. One party may also be seeking a legal injunction that forces another individual or company to take some action that they would find beneficial.

But the central focus is securing a settlement that may range from a few hundred to several million dollars. Along with the monetary focus of civil law, there is also a different level of severity. Violations of civil law would not result in a person being thrown in jail or prison. As a result, the need for an attorney is not as automatic as it is in criminal law. People represent themselves successfully on a daily basis in the field of civil law and in areas such as small claims court.


The distinction between criminal and civil law has many implications for the person being accused. Perhaps the most important is the choice of lawyer. Defendants have to go with the attorney that best suits their charges. A Philadelphia criminal lawyer would be absolutely necessary for criminal charges. Making a mistake when picking a lawyer can end up causing headaches for a civil lawsuit or criminal trial. It is best to research lawyers closely in order to make the right call.