What is A Criminal CASE?  

A criminal case is a case filed by the goverment, and typically alleges a person violated the Penal Code, Vehicle Code, or some other Code punishable by either a fine, imprisonment, or both.

“Infractions” are crimes limited to punishment by a fine only; “Misdmeanors” are crimes limited to punishment by up to one year in jail or less; and “Felonies” are crimes punishable by more than one year in jail. 

Crimes are distinguishable from Torts. Torts are illegal things which people sue each other over in Civil Court. A single action can form the basis for both a crime and a Tort. For instance, if you punch someone, you can be sued by them for Battery in Civil Court, and prosecuted by the State for Battery in Criminal Court. If you damage someone's property, you could be sued by them in Civil Court, and possibly arrested and charged with criminal Vandalism. 

A Civil lawsuit only takes place if the harmed party files a lawsuit, the State does not do it for them. In contrast, a Criminal case takes place if the State decides to file criminal charges, and can occur even without the consent and cooperation of the victim. Any related Civil case is not heard together with the Criminal case. 

What is Criminal Defense?

Criminal Defense is the act of representing a defendant in criminal court. The process generally involves; appearing for arraignment; opposing bail; requesting and reviewing evidence; perhaps conducting independent investigations; negotiating settlements; presenting evidence and arguments in court; and sometimes attending court after the case has ended to show that the punishment given (such as: community service, counseling, or payment of restitution) is completed or being performed.  

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