Criminal and civil law system

Criminaland civil law system


Criminaland civil law system

Thelegal system in the United States is divided into two categoriesthat is criminal and civil law. Though they both have the same aim ofensuring justice in the society, they are as different as they aresimilar. Legal proceedings for the two systems are initiated once aperson breaks state or federal laws. Moreover, the proceedings onlybegin when a person goes to court to move an order to that effect(Neubauer &amp Fradella, 2015). The other similarity is that in bothsystems, parties are allowed to make their case in front of a judgeand a jury of peers where applicable. These proceeding end witheither a conviction, a fine or both.

Thesesystems also have some differences. The first difference is theburden of proof. In criminal proceedings, the prosecutor must provebeyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offense.However, in a civil proceeding, the burden is a preponderance of theevidence available. This standard is lower than that of a criminalproceeding. The other difference is the type of punishment. Incriminal prosecutions, when one is found guilty, they are eithersentenced to jail, fined or awarded the two. However, in civilproceedings when one is found guilty they are either required to payfor damages to the plaintiff or given a certain order depending onthe nature of the crime. The two systems are also supported bydifferent constitutional principles (Dammer&amp Albanese, 2013). Incriminal proceedings, the state has an interest in the case and assuch is involved. However, civil cases are used to settle issuesamong individuals and the state is never involved.

Agood example of the differences between these two systems is visiblein the O.J. Simpson’s case which was tried in both systems. Thoughthe evidence and facts of the two proceedings were similar, theruling in each system was different. While doing this assignment, Ihave come to understand how the two systems work and the issues theyaddress and the reason why when presented with the same facts thejudgments differ.


Dammer,H. R., &amp Albanese, J. S. (2013). Comparative criminal justicesystems. Cengage Learning.

Neubauer,D. W., &amp Fradella, H. F. (2015). America`s courts and thecriminal justice system. Cengage Learning.