The American justice system separates criminal law from civil legal actions. It may surprise you to know that this is not true in all of the rest of the world.
The American Bar Association explains that there are parts of the world where a single court case can combine both criminal and civil aspects. This is not the case in the United States. If there are criminal aspects to your civil lawsuit or civil aspects to a criminal case, the courts have distinct cases that deal with each.
What is a civil lawsuit?
A civil lawsuit begins when a person or organization files a complaint in court against someone else. This is different from criminal cases in which the government usually initiates legal action. If you have a problem that requires the intervention of the courts to solve, you would file a civil lawsuit.
What kinds of cases does civil litigation include?
A legal issue that does not involve enforcing public codes of behavior is a civil lawsuit. These can incorporate a wide range of matters. Common examples of civil litigation include personal injury cases, such as car accidents, and family law matters, such as divorce. Civil litigation also often includes employment law matters and business disputes. For example, you could file a lawsuit if a person or organization with which you have a contract fails to live up to the obligations that it outlines.
The resolution of a civil case typically involves one party paying damages to another or having to take some action for the other party’s benefit. Civil cases do not involve the possibility of jail time.