When faced with criminal charges, you will want to ensure that you have obtained an attorney who is well versed in the area you require. The law can be vast, which is why so many attorneys have areas in which they choose to focus. It’s not uncommon to wonder the difference between criminal and civil court and whether you should obtain a specific attorney depending on the courtroom you find yourself in.
The Difference in Legal Representation
Depending on the legal woes ahead of you, hiring the right attorney will make all the difference. Whether you are faced with a criminal charge, a personal injury lawsuit or some other legal proceeding, you will want to make sure you hire someone who focuses on this area of practice. Common areas of law that an attorney may choose to focus on include:
- Employment Law
- Personal Injury
- Criminal Defense
- Family Law
- Real Estate Law
- Business Law
- Estate Planning
It is not uncommon for an attorney to focus on one area of the law. An attorney will work to build their knowledge base in the area of practice they choose. However, when faced with a criminal charge, understanding the difference between a criminal defense and civil law attorney is important. The primary difference between criminal and civil law are the repercussions of the two. In civil law, the outcome may result in the defendant paying money to the claimant. The consequences of a criminal trial may result in fines, probation, and even incarceration. When it comes to hiring an attorney, these two areas of practice can have significant differences:
Criminal Defense Attorney
While the decision to file a civil claim is in the hands of the victim, the state is responsible for filing charges in criminal cases.
The prosecution will seek to prove that the person is guilty beyond reasonable doubt
A criminal defense attorney only represents the defendant. They are charged with proving or raising doubt against the state’s case to convince judge and jury of their client’s innocence.
Civil Law Attorney
If a lawsuit is filed against you in civil court, you do not have access to a court appointed attorney in the way you would in criminal court.
Civil lawsuits do not result in jail time. Most damages a defendant will be responsible for are monetary.
Most civil attorneys charge a contingency fee, meaning they will only collect money if they win your case.
It would be incredibly difficult for an attorney to be highly skilled in all areas of the law. Choosing an attorney who practices the area of law in which you require legal services is likely to be in your best interest.
When it comes to your criminal defense, there can be a lot riding on the legal proceedings that are to follow. If you are faced with charges, the last thing you want is to receive a criminal conviction. A criminal defense lawyer Rockville, MD trusts can assure that you are legally represented by a professional with experience that is specified to this area of practice.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into criminal defense.