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Civil Procedure V. Criminal Procedure

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Civil Procedure v. Criminal Procedure
ENC 1102 34
Week 11
Individual Work

Civil Procedure v. Criminal Procedure Civil procedure relates to the process where two parties bring a case to the court for a decision on a particular problem. These problems can include but are not limited to divorces, estate distribution, work men’s comp., injury cases, or even matters such as discrimination in the workplace. Criminal procedure applies to the process where the state or federal government is charging and trying someone for a crime that was committed (Civil Procedure, 2012). The rules in civil procedure are different than those in criminal procedure because the actions that need to be taken are different.
Firstly, civil procedure requires that a civil case must begin by filing a complaint. The complaint is then, served to the offending party. Once the defending party receives the complaint, they then drafts and files an answer with the court. A party in a civil case can be anyone including people, businesses, and government personnel. When the parties go in front of the court in a civil case, it is to determine whether a person was injured and if they were injured, how much should be compensated for that injury. All of this information pertaining to the civil case is specifically drafted into the court documents (American Bar, 2012).
Civil cases, also, have some Constitutional protection in place. For example, the parties involved in a case must file and receive consent of the court to start the discovery process. During the discovery process, the parties are free to investigate each other’s belongings and property plus any other information, so that they can gain access to necessary evidence for their case. Although, if the parties search an area that was not in the discovery documents, that piece of evidence will not be considered in court because they do not have consent on it (Farlox, 2012).
Lastly, civil procedure dictates all the motions, meetings, and even the civil trial. Unlike the rules of evidence that can be used in both criminal and civil cases, the rules of civil procedure and the various motions and meetings that happen do not occur in a criminal proceeding. For instance, according to the rules of civil procedure, if the defense proves that there are no facts that the parties are arguing in the case, then they can file a motion for summary judgment (Cornell University Law School, 2012). This allows the judge to decide the case based only the two initial filings, saving the parties time and money.
The most important part of civil procedure is efficiency. The rules of civil procedure are designed to make the process efficient, smooth and prevent long trials where they are not needed. This is all possible because the only thing at stake for the defendant or defendants is money.
Unlike Civil procedure, Criminal procedure refers to the rules of procedures that criminal prosecutions are governed by (Civil verses Criminal Law, 2012). A criminal investigation begins with a crime being committed. The police start by collecting evidence, questioning witnesses and obtaining suspects. To be able to question anyone or search a suspect’s home, the policemen have to either receive permission from the owner or obtain a search warrant from a seating judge. If a search warrant or permission is not obtained, then the evidence and anything else that was discovered as the result of that piece of evidence is also thrown out; not to be used in court (Hess & Orthmann, 2010).
During a criminal trial, the state or federal government accuses a person or a group of people of committing a crime. During this process, if the accused cannot afford to hire an attorney, criminal procedure requires that one is given to them through the public defender’s office with no charge. All suspects and anyone brought in for questioning are always reminded of their Constitutional rights, which include the right to meet with their attorney and the right to remain silent when being questioned (Hess & Orthmann, 2010). Even after a criminal case has ended and the suspect is sentenced, he or she is permitted to appeal their case all the way to the United States Supreme Court, if there was a mistake in the original case.
The same act may bring both a civil and a criminal case but the two legal cases are always kept separate. This is because a different standard or burden of proof is required in a criminal case. The standard of evidence used to judge the criminal case is higher than the standard applied in civil cases. In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff's case must be proved by a preponderance of evidence, meaning that the plaintiff must convince the judge or jury that his or her version of the facts is more likely, than not and that he or she is entitled to judgment (Civil verses Criminal Law, 2012).
In conclusion, civil procedure and criminal procedure are different but they are both extremely important; the processes are in place to protect everyone involved in either civil or criminal cases.

Reference American Bar. 2012. Steps in a Civil Trial. Retrieved from www.americanbar.org. Retrieved on 03/15/12. Civil versus Criminal Law. 2012, Retrieved from http://www.otto-graph.com/samples/3/civil.html. Retrieved on 03/15/12. Cornell University Law School. 2012. Retrieved from http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/rule_56. Retrieved on 03/14/12. Farlox. 2012. Civil Procedure. Retrieved from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Civil+Procedure. Retrieved on 03/14/12. Karen M. Hess & Christine Hess Orthmann. 2010. Criminal Investigation. Ninth Edition.

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