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What is the difference between civil and criminal cases?

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Individuals who are responsible for someone’s death may face criminal charges for murder or manslaughter. He or she may face civil charges as well if the decedent’s family chooses to file a lawsuit. During the criminal proceedings, the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. During a civil lawsuit, the victim’s family will only have to prove that the negligence or wrongdoing of the defendant contributed to the accident. You may remember that O.J. Simpson was not convicted on criminal charges for the murder of his wife, but Nicole Brown Simpson’s family successfully sued him in civil court. O.J. Simpson did not go to prison for the murder, but the victim’s family was able to hold him civilly liable for the loss of their loved one.

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