Key Differences Between Civil and Criminal Defense Lawyers

Facing legal charges is scary. There’s no way to guarantee what the outcome of any case will be and the average American doesn’t have an in-depth understanding of the law, and all that uncertainty can exacerbate defendants’ fears. That’s why it’s important to find the right lawyer.

Most law firms either practice civil law or criminal law. Choosing the right Criminal Defense Lawyers requires an understanding of the differences between these two fields. Read on to find out about the main differences between civil lawyers and criminal lawyers.

Types of Cases

Criminal Defense Lawyers represent clients who are facing charges brought by the state or federal government, such as theft, assault, drug trafficking, and murder. Civil defense lawyers work with clients to resolve disputes between individual people or businesses such as family disputes, torts, and breaches of contract. Those facing criminal charges should always find a law firm that has experience trying criminal cases.

Potential Consequences

Civil lawyers are usually trying to prevent their clients from losing money. There’s no possibility of jail time for those facing civil charges, while those facing criminal charges could, if convicted, face fines, incarceration, or even the death penalty. Given the severity of these potential consequences, it’s important for criminal defendants to find lawyers who have solid track records dealing with similar charges.

Standard of Proof

In a criminal case, the prosecution holds the burden of proof and needs to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, the standard of proof is a little different in that the plaintiff only needs to provide a preponderance of evidence. This can be a point in favor of criminal defendants since it’s harder to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt than it is to convince the court that there’s more than a 50% chance that the defendant is guilty.

Find the Right Law Firm

When facing criminal charges, it’s important to find a law firm that has plenty of experience representing criminal defendants. Many law firms offer legal services that cover the realms of both criminal and civil law, which is also fine as long as the lawyer assigned to the case has a good track record in criminal courts. Visit  to learn about one local law firm that can help today. You can join us at Linkedin.

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