BA 302 Upper Iowa University Civil vs Criminal Law DiscussionCourse
Upper Iowa UniversityDepartment
Civil vs Criminal La
This is a common question accountants and lawyers are asked. What are some important differences between civil law and criminal law?
Civil law spells out the rights and duties that exist between persons and between persons and their governments, and the relief available when a person’s rights are violated. In a civil case, a private party may sue another private party (the government can also sue a party for a civil law violation) to make that other party comply with a duty or pay for damage caused by a failure to comply with a duty.
Criminal law has to do with wrongs committed against society for which society demands redress. Local, state, or federal statutes proscribe criminal acts. Public officials, such as district attorneys, not victims or other private parties, prosecute criminal defendants on behalf of the state.
In a civil case, the object is to obtain remedies (such as damages) to compensate an injured party. In a criminal case, the object is to punish a wrongdoer to deter others from similar actions. Penalties for violations of criminal statutes include fines and imprisonment, and in some cases, death.
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