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Civil vs. Criminal Courts Law Enforcement I. Copyright and Terms of Service Copyright © Texas Education Agency, 2011. These materials are copyrighted.

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Presentation on theme: "Civil vs. Criminal Courts Law Enforcement I. Copyright and Terms of Service Copyright © Texas Education Agency, 2011. These materials are copyrighted."— Presentation transcript:

1 Civil vs. Criminal Courts Law Enforcement I

2 Copyright and Terms of Service Copyright © Texas Education Agency, These materials are copyrighted © and trademarked ™ as the property of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of TEA, except under the following conditions: 1) Texas public school districts, charter schools, and Education Service Centers may reproduce and use copies of the Materials and Related Materials for the districts’ and schools’ educational use without obtaining permission from TEA. 2) Residents of the state of Texas may reproduce and use copies of the Materials and Related Materials for individual personal use only, without obtaining written permission of TEA. 3) Any portion reproduced must be reproduced in its entirety and remain unedited, unaltered and unchanged in any way. 4) No monetary charge can be made for the reproduced materials or any document containing them; however, a reasonable charge to cover only the cost of reproduction and distribution may be charged. Private entities or persons located in Texas that are not Texas public school districts, Texas Education Service Centers, or Texas charter schools or any entity, whether public or private, educational or non-educational, located outside the state of Texas MUST obtain written approval from TEA and will be required to enter into a license agreement that may involve the payment of a licensing fee or a royalty. Contact TEA Copyrights with any questions you may have.TEA Copyrights Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. 2

3 Type of Laws There are two types of laws: – Civil – Criminal Constables enforce both types Most other peace officers only enforce criminal law, but often come in contact with civil law cases 3 Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

4 Why is it Important to Know the Difference? Peace officers need to know the difference so they know when they can legally act on something Officers are oftentimes called out to civil cases but cannot enforce any laws 4 Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

5 Why is it Important to Know the Difference? (continued) In these cases the officers are expected to maintain order and ensure no violence occurs, or make an arrest if an assault does occur These are often called civil standbys 5 Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

6 Examples of civil standbys are – Child custody drop off or pick up situations – Landlord and tenant disputes Officers cannot enforce any court orders related to these calls but can document for future court proceedings what happened 6 Why is it Important to Know the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

7 Officers can always be called to testify as witnesses at a civil trial, just like in a criminal trial 7 Why is it Important to Know the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

8 What is the Difference? Civil law concerns the private rights of individuals and organizations in which the government provides a public forum for the resolution of disputes. 8 Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

9 What is the Difference? (continued) Criminal law involves the violation of statutory laws in which the state (the government) is the prosecutor Some examples are arson, rape, and armed robbery 9 Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

10 The burden of proof in civil cases is considered to be a “preponderance of the evidence” which means more likely than not the person accused of the wrong did it 10 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

11 The state’s burden of proof in a criminal case is to prove a defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” which is a much higher standard than what has to be proven in a civil case 11 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

12 In a civil case, the one bringing the case is the plaintiff or petitioner and the one defending is the respondent 12 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

13 In a criminal case, the prosecutor is the one who brings the charges and the defendant is the one defending 13 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

14 Civil law can include private law and contract law – Private law includes redress for non-criminal harm done to another – Contract law regulates the varied legal transactions between groups and individuals 14 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

15 Violations of statutory laws are called crimes Serious crimes are called felonies, and less serious ones are called misdemeanors 15 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

16 The punishment for civil law is often monetary, which is paid to another person or institution 16 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

17 The punishment for criminal law could be monetary, time spent in jail or prison, probation, community service, or all of the above, plus a report of this on a defendant’s criminal record if they are found guilty 17 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

18 Civil law – Deals primarily with individual or property rights – Involves a concept of responsibility but not guilt – Usually everyone involved is a private party – A dispute is usually set out in a petition – The court remedy is relief from or compensation for the violation of legal rights 18 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

19 Criminal law – Deals with public concepts proper behavior and morality as defined by law – The case is initiated by a government prosecutor on behalf of the public – Specific charges of wrongdoing are spelled out in a grand jury indictment or a writ of information 19 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

20 Criminal law – On arraignment, the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty – Has strict rules of procedure that are used to evaluate evidence – Determination of guilt results in punishment 20 What is the Difference? (continued) Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

21 Resources X, Criminal Justice, James Fagin, X, American Government and Politics Today (Texas Edition), Steffen W. Schmidt, Mack C. Shelley, Barbara A. Bardes, Lynne E. Ford, and William Earl Maxwell, Copyright © Texas Education Agency, All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.


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