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A crime generally means an illegal act or offense punishable by law.

It is any offence or crime at common law or under any Act of Parliament and includes an attempt to commit any offence or crime. A crime must have a defined punishment.

A person found guilty of committing a crime is a criminal.


You may have heard of murder, drug trafficking and robbery. Those are examples of criminal cases.

In a criminal case, legal action is taken by either the state, federal or local government against an individual or organization for the violation.

A person who is found guilty of a crime can be put on probation, sent to prison, or be ordered to pay a fine or involves capital punishment or death penalty. Those are the punishments to the criminals found guilty to prevent such persons and others from acting in the same illegal manner in the future.

Debt collection, damages for personal injuries and medical malpractice litigation are examples of civil cases where the result is award of money judgment to be paid by one party to the other.

A civil case involves legal action between two private parties usually seeking for monetary compensation or damages by the plaintiff who has suffered loss by reason of the wrongful or tortuous conduct of the defendant. The judgment is imposed to make the aggrieved person whole for the harm that has been caused by the other. In any civil case, a criminal sentence cannot be imposed in the judgment.

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