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Criminal Cases vs. Civil Cases

Most people have heard about criminal and civil cases, but many are not familiar with the differences between the two and what each entails. Those who are brought into the legal system should understand the basic differences between civil and criminal cases and how these influence the bail process.

The Difference Between Civil and Criminal

In general, criminal cases include misdemeanor and felony offenses where there are potential monetary fines and possibly incarceration. In criminal cases, a person is entitled to various rights provided by the Constitution and other laws. The parties in a criminal case are the state and the person charged with a crime. In a criminal case, a bond amount is set when a person is arrested. If the bond can be posted, then the person is released from incarceration while the case is pending. Bail bonds companies assist people with posting the bonds.

On the other hand, civil cases involve a variety of different disputes between two different parties. The parties in a civil case are usually individuals or businesses who have some type of disagreement or otherwise require the involvement of the court to resolve an issue.

Some examples of criminal cases include instances where a person is charged with a crime such as theft, battery, assault, DUI, manslaughter, drug possession, etc. Civil cases include landlord/tenant disputes, contract issues, divorce, custody, property disputes, probate, etc.

Civil and criminal cases differ in the procedures required. There are laws and procedures that apply specifically to criminal cases. These rules and procedures are complex and detailed.

In civil cases, the laws and procedures depend on the type of civil dispute. For example, the procedures and rules in a divorce case will not be the same as those in an eviction case.

Criminal and civil cases also differ in standards of proof required by the court. In a criminal case, the crime must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In civil cases, the standard varies depending on the type of case. For example, in some civil cases, the legal elements must be proven by “clear and convincing” evidence. Some other cases have a lesser standard of a “preponderance of the evidence.”

In a criminal case, a defendant is entitled to representation by an attorney, even if they cannot afford an attorney. In civil cases, a person can hire an attorney, but those who cannot afford an attorney are not provided with legal representation and must represent themselves.

In criminal cases, defendants are entitled to a variety of rights provided by the Constitution. These Constitutional rights are not guaranteed in civil cases, except in a few circumstances. For example, in criminal cases the defendant has a right to have a jury trial. Only in some civil cases is a jury trial permitted. Also, in a criminal case the defendant is entitled to a speedy trial. Trials in civil cases can take a long time to transpire.

In civil cases, if a person fails to comply with an order of the court, they may be held in contempt. Contempt has some criminal aspects to it, such as the possibility of jail time and imposition of fines as a method of penalty. Sometimes the courts may permit a bond to be posted to secure a person’s release in a contempt matter.

In any case, regardless of whether it is criminal or civil, where the court provides the option of posting a bond, a bail bonds company can assist with posting the required amount. Bail bondsmen work with individuals and families to provide payment plans and other methods to post a bond. Most bail bond companies will work with persons of varying financial backgrounds and circumstances to make arrangements for the bond.

Bail Bonds

Bail bonds companies are familiar with the legal system and can assist those who need help securing the necessary funds to post a bond. Bail bondsmen understand the urgent nature of many situations and will do what they can to help those in need. Do not hesitate to contact a bail bondsman if you or a loved one is required to post a bond in their case.

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