The Goal Of Criminal Law Vs. Civil Law

1591 Words 7 Pages
The goal of civil law is to resolve disputes between parties (individuals or entities).2 For example, in the preceding illustration, you had a dispute with a fellow student. The civil law system allows you, the injured party, to resolve your dispute in a civilized, orderly fashion. Without this option, you might be tempted to ‘‘take matters into your own hands.’’ The defendant in a civil case does not have to worry about the possibility of incarceration. On the other hand, incarceration and fines represent the goals of criminal law. The court in a civil case may require the defendant to compensate the injured party for damages suffered at the hands of the defendant.
The party who initiates a legal action in a civil suit is either a private citizen or a business entity, such as a corporation or a partnership. Conversely, a public employee (usually a prosecutor) initiates a criminal proceeding on

2The term civil law is also used to describe one of the two established legal systems in the Western world. The two systems are the common law legal system and the civil legal system. The common law system is a system of laws based on judicial decisions, rather than on statutes or constitutions. The United States adopted the English version of the common law system during the colonial years. The
…show more content…
Criminal intent deals with a defendant’s state of mind when committing a crime. Criminal act refers to the specific acts performed by a defendant in carrying out a crime. Criminal intent is often referred to as the mens rea, which is the Latin term for ‘‘guilty mind.’’ For most crimes, the prosecution must prove ‘‘beyond a reasonable doubt’’ that the defendant intended to commit the crime for which the defendant has been charged. In practical terms, a person’s ‘‘intent’’ relates to that person’s state of mind while performing an accompanying

Related Documents