Understanding the Difference between a Civil and Criminal Case, If You Have Been Injured By a Drunk Driver

Ever year many people become victims due to the negligent act of drunk driving. When there is an accident due to drunken driving, there is often both a criminal and a civil case against the wrongdoer. If you were injured in an accident by a drunk driver, then you should contact Car Accident Lawyers in Toronto, they will guide you through the process and help you fight for your right and the compensation that you rightly deserve.

What is a criminal case?

A criminal case is that which is handled by the government and they would be the ones who would lay formal charges or an indictment against an accused person. Criminal cases could be summary conviction offences, which are comparatively minor incidents and do not usually include a term of imprisonment. It could also be an indictable offence, which most of the criminal offences under the Criminal code are. These indictable offences have more serious legal consequences as compared to the indictment. The relevant parties in the case are the alleged drunk driver, also known as the accused and the prosecution, also known as the Crown or Crown attorney.

What is a civil case?

In a civil case, the dispute is between both the parties. Punishing or rehabilitating the offender and the returning the injured party to the state in which they would have been if the accident had not occurred are the two main goals of a civil case. The two parties involved in the case are referred to as the plaintiff and the defendant.

What is at stake here?

Criminal cases and civil cases differ in the way they proceed through the legal system and the relevant parties that are involved. In a criminal case, the consequences faced might include legal fines, which are payable to the government and a term of imprisonment. On the other hand, in civil cases, one party pays monetary compensation to the other party.

There is also a substantial difference in the standard of proof or evidentiary burden between civil and criminal cases. In a criminal case, the Crown is required to prove the charges which are beyond a reasonable doubt. Whereas, in a civil case, the plaintiff only needs to prove that their case balances on probabilities.

There has been a lot of debate over the legal definition of these terms. It suffices to say that in a criminal case the prosecutor must prove that the case is much bigger evidently when compared to a civil case.

What to do when you have been injured by a drunk driver?

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, then get in touch with a lawyer as they way your options and give you their expert opinions. They will help to fight for the compensation that you deserve.

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