Civil litigation is another term for civil lawsuit or civil case. Unlike a criminal case, which is looking to punish the wrongdoer for a crime, a civil case is meant to compensate the victim or enforce a legal right. A civil case is usually instigated by a private party—a person or business who has allegedly suffered some kind of damage. In contrast, a criminal case is brought by a prosecutor or other attorney representing the local government.
In general terms, a civil lawsuit is the court-based process through which “Person A” can seek to hold “Person B” liable for some type of wrong. Usually, if “Person A” is successful, he/she will be awarded compensation for the harm that resulted from “Person B’s” action or inaction.
Civil lawsuits can also be brought by and against businesses and other entities; for example, over a contract dispute, a residential eviction after a broken lease, injuries sustained in a car accident, or countless other harms or disputes.
Civil lawsuits generally proceed through distinct steps: pleadings, discovery, trial, and possibly an appeal. However, parties can halt this process by voluntarily settling at any time. Most cases settle before reaching trial. Arbitration is sometimes another alternative to a trial.
Criminal defense law consists of the legal protections for people who have been charged with committing a crime. Law enforcement agencies and government prosecutors have extensive resources at their disposal. Without adequate protections for the accused, the balance of power within the justice system would become skewed in favor of the government. As it is, fair treatment for criminal defendants often depends as much upon the skill of their defense attorney as it does the substantive protections contained in the law.
Defense attorneys, such as Michael J. Beatrice, know how to use constitutional guarantees to the advantage of their clients. For example, all criminal prosecutions are based upon evidence gathered by the government. This may include physical items of evidence, witness statements, confessions, drug and alcohol tests, and so forth. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment) prohibits the police from using unreasonable searches and seizures to gather evidence. If they do, a defense attorney will ask the court to suppress that evidence so it cannot be used at trial.
DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, while DWI / DUI stands for Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired. DUI and DWI may sometimes be used interchangeably or, in some states, be recognized as different crimes.
In the State of New Jersey, DWI / DUI is regarded as a serious traffic offense, and the charges come with severe penalties and consequences. While the most common DWI / DUI charge is for drunk driving, you may also face charges for driving under the influence of habit-forming drugs, such as hallucinogenic and narcotics. The only difference is that there is no minimum level of drugs that you must have in your system to be considered “under the influence.” In other words, any amount that impairs your ability to drive is enough for you to be arrested for a DWI / DUI.
DWI / DUI convictions may lead to the loss of your driver’s license, significant fines, damage to your reputation, huge increases in your insurance premiums, a criminal record and, in some cases, even incarceration.