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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CIVIL CASE AND CRIMINAL CASE?


Pillars of a large courthouse

A civil case involves a dispute between two or more parties in which one party sues the other for compensation or to compel some type of action, while a criminal case involves the government or state prosecuting a person or organization for a crime. In a civil case, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove their case by a "preponderance of the evidence," which means that it is more likely than not that the allegations are true. In a criminal case, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove the defendant's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." In a civil case, the remedy is typically monetary damages, while in a criminal case, the remedy is typically a fine or imprisonment.


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