The attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. spend much of our time going between civil court and criminal court for our clients. For them, it may seem like the same thing, but there are many differences for civil court attorneys.
Civil court is for when someone is filing a lawsuit for a personal injury or damaged property. This can be from medical malpractice, a car accident, or a slip and fall. Criminal court is for when someone is being charged by the state for committing a crime. We’ve represented people charged with blue-collar crimes like assault, theft, and white-collar crimes like tax evasion and fraud.
When you’re looking for an appropriate attorney, you want to make sure they have experience with the correct legal process. An attorney can have decades of experience in criminal defense and find themselves unprepared to go up against moderately experienced civil court attorneys. That’s why it’s best to contact Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., especially if you’re unsure of what you need. We have civil court attorneys and criminal court attorneys.
Due to misinformation, it’s common for people to misunderstand what happens in civil court. To help clear up some misunderstandings and help you understand what kind of legal help you need, we have some important civil court facts that everyone should know in case they need legal help.
Civil court is where one entity files a lawsuit against another entity. An entity can be a person, business, government organization, or group of individuals. A plaintiff–the one filing the lawsuit–and the defendant–the one the lawsuit is against–can be any combination of these four types of entities. A lawsuit claims that one person infringed on the other and owes them damages. If the plaintiff wins, they can receive monetary compensation or something else of monetary value. The defendant can countersue, so if they win, the plaintiff can pay the costs of the lawsuit.
No matter who wins, no one will be sent to jail as a direct result of the court decision. While information can be revealed in civil court that leads to a criminal investigation, and misbehavior in civil court can lead to a criminal charge, a civil court cannot send someone to jail for prison due to the matter of the lawsuit.
If the plaintiff or defendant loses the case and owes money they can’t pay, it becomes a debt. If they can’t pay the debt, they could potentially go to prison, but that would still be a separate criminal case, not civil court sending someone to prison.
The right to an attorney is for your defense against the government, not other Americans. In criminal court, either the federal government, the state, or your municipality will sue you, charging you with a crime. In these instances, you have the right to a lawyer, and the court system must provide one for you.
In civil cases, they do not. There are some exceptions, such as in the case of family law, where child custody and child abuse can become a factor. The federal government made it legally required for states to provide children representation if they need it, especially when child abuse is involved.
Otherwise, you need to find your own attorney for civil court. No one will provide you with an attorney if you file a lawsuit or if someone files a lawsuit against you.
There is no standard for how long civil court and criminal court cases last. A court case of either type can last for years due to a multitude of reasons. They can also end early with settlements and plea deals. How early a case ends depends wholly on how much evidence one or both parties have and how well their legal representatives showcase it.
For cases you think will go to civil court, do not hesitate to call the civil court attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. Our attorneys are focused on fighting for the rights of individuals, whether that be compensation from an individual or business. You and your loved ones shouldn’t have to financially suffer because of someone else’s mistake.
If you’re unsure what sort of case you have, we’re still the attorneys to call. Our varied and extensive experience allows us to help you understand what kind of legal help you need. Contact us today.