A civil case involves a dispute between two individuals or companies. A criminal case involves a lawsuit initiated by the government, either at the state level or the federal level, against an individual or corporation alleging some criminal wrongdoing. A criminal case typically results in the criminal defendant either being fined or imprisoned if found guilty.
A civil case typically results in either a court order being entered directing that a person either do something or not do something or in the alternative can result in a judgment against one party directing that party pay a certain amount of money to the other party. A civil case cannot result in a criminal fine or sentence to jail.
See Brien Roche’s book Law 101 published by Sphinx Publishing for more information on this subject.
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