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What's the difference between criminal law and civil law?

Wondering what the difference is between criminal law and civil law? If you want to sue somebody, you need to know the difference.

Our legal system observes several important distinctions between criminal and civil law.

Criminal law is concerned with conduct that is offensive to society. Civil law pertains primarily to the duties of private citizens to each other.

In civil cases the disputes are usually between private individuals, although the government may sometimes be a party in a civil suit. Criminal cases always involve government prosecution of an individual for an alleged offense against society.

When you sue somebody, you are engaging in a civil lawsuit. Civil cases far outnumber criminal cases in both the federal and state courts.

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