NJ Criminal Defense FAQ | See also: NJ DWI FAQ
Q) What is the difference between a criminal case and a civil case?
A) A criminal case is brought by the state or federal government against a defendant charged with committing a crime, while a civil case is a lawsuit brought by any individual, business entity or group against another to get compensation for harm caused by the violation of a legal duty. The burden of proof of “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal matters is more strict than that of “preponderance of the evidence” in civil matters. The last significant difference between the two is the type of penalty that is involved. If you are found guilty of a crime in a criminal case, you may face a significant fine, probation or imprisonment. While, if you lose as a defendant in a civil matter, you will typically be required to pay the plaintiff an award of monetary damages.
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