FAQ: What’s the difference between a civil and criminal case?

The term ‘civil case’ covers a variety of different actions from a suit over a car accident to a divorce case. It essentially means any case where one party takes another to court in an effort to receive money, property or to stop certain behavior. A criminal case is not brought by a private party or individual, but rather by the state or federal government and seeks to punish a person through incarceration or probation.

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