Do You Need More Evidence for a Criminal or Civil Case?

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February 12, 2015
Colson Hicks Eidson

Attorney Joseph Kalbach Explains the Different Types of Litigation

Civil and criminal trials proceed very differently. The main difference is that criminal trials decide what will happen to the alleged wrongdoer; civil trials determine how the victim will be compensated. In this video, attorney Joseph Kalbach explains how the burden of proof differs between civil and criminal litigation.

Video Transcription

A criminal case is against the perpetrator of a crime. A criminal case involves criminal charges, which involve taking away the life and liberty of a particular criminal. In a civil case, you’re suing for compensation, fair compensation for the injuries and damages that you’ve sustained. The burden of proof in those type of cases are different. In a criminal case, it’s beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof in a civil case for personal injuries is by the greater weight of the evidence. The greater weight of the evidence is a lesser burden; roughly it’s 51 percent of all the evidence in the case. Beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the criminal standard, is a very high burden, and the reason it’s a higher burden because you’re taking away somebody’s liberty and sometimes even their life.