Every legal dispute falls under one of two categories: civil or criminal. Although people often consider family law a distinct third category, disputes involving domestic relations technically fall under civil law. To offer some clarity, the legal team at The Law Offices of Conti & Levy in Torrington, CT, explains some of the major differences between a civil attorney and a criminal lawyer.
Because civil litigation encompasses so many different cases, it’s easier to explain this practice area by stating what it’s not rather than what it is. In the simplest terms, a civil attorney represents clients who are not facing criminal charges. You might turn to this type of lawyer if you need help with divorce or child custody proceedings, bankruptcy filings, a personal injury claim, estate planning, or a boundary dispute.
The issues listed above might seem unrelated, but they all encompass the various rights of private citizens, and this area of the law governs disputes between them. For example, most civil claims begin when the plaintiff files a complaint against the defendant to reach a resolution—most often in the form of a court order.
A criminal attorney helps clients who have been accused of violating the law and face charges as a result. Such cases begin when a representative of the government presses charges against someone who allegedly broke the law. Whereas a financial settlement is usually at stake in civil cases, the defendant’s freedom is on the line in criminal cases, as a conviction often results in jail time. Some lawyers focus solely on defending against one or two kinds of violations, like DUI or domestic violence, while others have a much wider scope of practice and represent clients facing various charges.
If you face a complicated legal dispute—whether civil or criminal—turn to the experienced team at The Law Offices of Conti & Levy. The full-service firm is well versed in both criminal defense and civil litigation. Their areas of expertise include family law, workers’ compensation, real estate law, and DUI defense. Visit their website to see what past clients have to say about the quality counsel they provide, or call (860) 482-4451 to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney today