Understanding the Difference between Civil and Criminal Cases

Determining the difference between civil and criminal cases is an important distinction. It bears significantly upon an individual’s legal situation when he or she has been harmed by another party. While there are many differences between these two types of cases, one of the most fundamental differences is that in civil cases, the plaintiff files a lawsuit against another individual or business, known as the defendant, and in a criminal case, the state brings charges against the defendant through the district attorney’s office.

If you have been hurt due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, we can help you to determine whether a civil lawsuit might be appropriate. Contact the Oklahoma injury lawyers of the Abel Law Firm at (405) 239-7046 today.

Specifics of Civil and Criminal Cases

Apart from whether the action was against an individual or the state, there are a number of other differences between these two types of cases such as:

  • The burden of proof is much higher in criminal cases than civil ones. The defendant must be guilty beyond all reasonable doubt in criminal cases. In civil cases, the defendant is found liable if more than half of the evidence presented suggests that they caused the plaintiff harm.
  • Punishment is much more severe in criminal cases including fines, jail time, and in severe cases, the death penalty. Civil cases, by contrast, may result in fines, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and other consequences excluding incarceration.
  • Criminal cases always go before a judge, whereas civil cases can be settled between the two parties involved.

Contact Us

Do not delay seeking legal counsel. For a consultation free of obligation, contact the Oklahoma personal injury lawyers of the Abel Law Firm by calling (405) 239-7046.

Voted Oklahoma's Best Personal Injury Law Firm
The Journal Record 2023 Reader Rankings - Top Winner - Abel Law Firm - Best Peronal Injury Law Firm
The Journal Record 2023 Reader Rankings - Top Winner - Abel Law Firm - Best Peronal Injury Law Firm

Oklahomans across the state have recognized the Abel Law Firm's unique heritage as a statewide institution. Founded by Ed Abel, and today led by his son, Luke Abel, our personal injury law firm has become synonymous with empathy, compassion, and the highest professional performance serving our neighbors. Our family has sought to leave a profound impact upon the State of Oklahoma. We appreciate that former Governor Mary Fallin recognized that dedication when she declared May 1st "Ed Abel Day."

To be named Oklahoma's Best Personal Injury Law Firm is humbling. We are grateful to have won this prestigious honor. We work every day to earn the trust of those we serve: Oklahoma families who are facing some of the most difficulty days of their lives due to the negligence of others. It is our intention and resolve to continue to be deserving of the faith Oklahomans have placed in our family's law firm. Thank you!

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