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Penalties for civil and criminal law are different. When a defendant loses a criminal case, they typically will face incarceration and/or some type of probation and fines. In some cases, a person convicted of a crime will lose one or more license, such as a driver’s or professional license, or be assigned community service.
The typical penalty for a defendant losing a civil case is having to pay the plaintiff money. Some civil cases involve a defendant needing to change a behavior or agree to something. Other kinds of civil cases such as divorce or estate distribution do not necessarily have defendants but the parties involved have to agree to the judge’s or other court official’s instructions.
If you or someone you care about is dealing with legal issues over civil or criminal offenses, it may be in your best interest to discuss your rights with a lawyer who is licensed to practice the kind of law you need help with.