Our San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Rosa plaintiffs’ law firm believes in keeping our clients informed and educated, whether it is a personal injury matter, a False Claims Act case, a small business dispute, or any other claim within our firm’s purview. We make this a key commitment in our work because it helps make the process of claim resolution a bit easier and makes the system a bit less intimidating. Today’s focus, explaining two of the key divisions within the court system, is intended to help you to understand some of the different courts in California where your potential claim might be filed and heard (note: often, our cases are settled prior to actual trial).
Civil versus Criminal: The Two Faces of Justice
The first distinction is one we refer to often in these posts, the separation between the civil and criminal courts. Criminal law is about punishment and guilty verdicts result in fines and/or incarceration (or, in some places, the death penalty). In contrast, the object of civil cases is the redress of a wrong which, if the plaintiff prevails, is typically accomplished through monetary compensation and/or restitution. Criminal cases are brought by the government, while civil cases are between two private parties.