Juvenile Criminal Law and the differences between criminal and civil law

What Are the Differences Between Criminal and Civil Law When Dealing With Juveniles?

Laws relating to the conduct and treatment of juveniles have been in place for over a century, with our ancestors having relied on them to be able to distinguish between a punishable offense and one that could be considered relatively minor in comparison. A lot has changed as time has gone by and where many crimes would often result in extreme punishments, including death, these days the legal system has taken somewhat of a different approach to the way in which people are convicted.

There are many types of juvenile law defense currently being practiced, but two of them in particular are far more common than others. They include criminal law and civil law.

What Is the Difference Between Criminal Law and Civil Law?

Of these two types of legal areas that apply to juveniles, there are a variety of factors that make them different in nature. The main difference is that criminal legislation applies to those that can be prosecuted for offenses that are deemed illegal and punishable by prison time; including murder, manslaughter, driving whilst under the influence and breaking and entering.

Any type of crime that could be considered a danger to human life, an infringement on an individual’s rights to live peacefully, or other similar events can result in criminal prosecution. Depending on the severity of the crime, as well as whether or not the person (or people) being prosecuted has been found guilty by a judge and jury; the sentencing will vary.

Where juvenile civil legislation differs is in the sense that it is applied to more personal, or communal matters in contrast to the defense of criminal juvenile law matters . Although there is a fine line between what may contribute to a criminal offense, in the majority of instances any prosecution that is being pursued as a result of a civil event will typically result in a fine, or some other type of similar punishment.

Is Civil Law Considered the Lesser Prosecution For Juveniles?

In some regions within the United States, civil action against a juvenile, a business, or an organization is considered the most productive way to obtain a ruling that likely won’t end in harsh penalty. For example, if a business owner was to terminate an employee’s contract due to unfair circumstances they may find themselves having to face a civil court judge.

If however, the business owner utilizes tools and office resources that fail to meet the right standard of performance, resulting in an unprecedented fatality, then they should instead expect to face criminal prosecution for negligence resulting in death. On the opposite side of the coin, if the owner instead murders an employee outright, then they will face criminal charges.

Criminal court is permitted to use all forms of evidence, whilst civil court is restricted in what can be deemed evidentiary in nature. For example in certain States of America, some civil proceedings may refute evidence presented in the form of film and CCTV in favour of still images and photographs; while in criminal proceedings, evidence in all forms can be presented.