Learning the difference between civil litigation and criminal cases could help determine the best approach. Each focuses on specific parts of the law and offer varying outcomes to ensure justice. If you’re considering pressing charges, consider the following so that you know what to expect from the process.

A Guide to Civil Litigation & Criminal Cases

Civil Litigation

These cases focus on disputes between two entities, such as a client against a corporation or two separate individuals. They protect private rights by ensuring compensation for damages. Examples include ordering a service from a company that doesn’t follow through or sustaining injury due to another person’s neglect. Damages in these instances could be project delays, medical bills, and loss of work, which would provide reason enough for a civil lawsuit.

civil litigationCases can usually be resolved outside of the court. The defendant might supply a payment toward the plaintiff in order to get them to drop the charges. If there is an admission of guilt, then both parties will agree upon the level of compensation that is due.

Criminal Cases

These cases feature an issue between an individual and the state or federal government, focusing more on protecting public safety and ensuring that the law is upheld. Common examples include robbing a local establishment, causing bodily harm, or intentionally committing murder. Those who suffer a direct loss of income or families of the deceased would have cause to pursue criminal charges.

Depending on the severity of the crime, the defendant could receive at least a year in jail, as well as a hefty fine to cover the damages. Lighter sentences may include remaining under house arrest, performing community service, or losing their driver’s license.


Secure the justice you seek by working with the Law Office of Daniel P. Hoffey in Atlanta. This is a full-service civil litigation and criminal defense law firm with years of providing quality counsel on a variety of cases. Attorney Hoffey is practicing in both the state and federal courts and commits to providing the personal attention that his clients deserve. Call (770) 438-2111 to request a free consultation or visit his website for additional information on his services.