When most people think of the word “civil,” they think of “polite.” However, this may or may not describe a civil attorney. Civil attorneys solve the problems encountered by the citizens of society. These problems inevitably arise everyday between people in a social or business setting. Civil attorneys are sometimes said to solve “private wrongs” between two or more generally law-abiding citizens.
What Fields of Law Do Civil Attorneys Practice In?
Civil attorneys practice in almost any field that people interact and conduct business in.
Civil lawyers are very prevalent in the legal field. They specialize in a wide range of areas, including: personal injury law, employment law, family law, business and finance law, immigration law, real estate law, health and medicine law, landlord / tenant law, and more.
How Is Civil Law Different From Criminal Law?
Civil law deals with disputes between individuals and/or organizations. They are disputes between private parties. Criminal law, on the other hand, deals with crimes: behaviors which are against the rules society has created for the safety and well-being of its members. Criminal law imposes heavier sentences on the guilty, with punishments ranging from community service to the death penalty.
Civil law can place heavy fines or reverse certain conduct, but the sentences are often far lighter in comparison. As such, criminal law often comes with additional protections for the defendant; the reading of Miranda rights before an interrogation is an excellent example of such a protection. In addition, the burden of proof for guilt is higher in criminal law then civil law.
Note that civil law and criminal law are not exclusive. It is possible to be sued and fined in civil law and then sentenced in criminal law, or vice versa.