Criminal law and civil law

Criminal Law Vs. Civil Law

Student’s name

Institutional affiliation

Criminal law and civil law are forms of social control that define socially unacceptable behaviors and regulate social conflict rules. Criminal law provides that any prosecution carried out on a person by the government after being involved in an act is classified as a criminal offense. There are criteria used in determining if a behavior is severe that it needs to be a criminal offense. Criminal law does not cover much objectionable behavior. Ideally, criminal law is more of social control used when other mechanisms, including family, church, and community, fail to carry out their functions. Criminal law is used to define criminal activities and determine legal punishments for people convicted of crimes like theft, assault, and arson.

Civil law, on the other hand, is concerned with the private rights of the citizens. In essence, civil law only applies when a person has had their rights violated or disputes with organizations or other people. Matters of civil law can be handled outside of a law court, for instance, through a third-party mediator. Alternatively, lawsuits can be solved through the use of a trial which is not criminal. Additionally, the burden of proof always falls on the plaintiff, and as such one is required to give evidence beyond the balance of probabilities. In criminal law, this is not the case because the burden of proof is the state’s responsibility or the government. Regarding punishment, civil law requires compensation for damages and injuries and disposition of property. On the other hand, criminal matters require the guilty defendant to be punished through incarceration, paying fines, or both. In exceptional cases, the death penalty may also apply. Worth noting, under criminal law, there are two classes, namely misdemeanors and felonies. Another difference is that under civil law, the jury does not have to make a unanimous decision, while in criminal law, the jury’s decision is purely unanimous.