The criminal law involves the government as one of the parties in the case. It is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. A criminal case can be filed against individuals and businesses. Criminal lawyers in Houston, Texas, routinely handle cases against individuals, and rarely businesses. If a business is charged with a crime, you need the best Houston criminal attorney who has experience in these types of business and regulatory offenses.
Criminal acts include sex offenses, drug crimes, theft, fraud, white collar case, assault, juvenile crime, murder, and so on. The goal of our criminal justice system is to prevent people from committing crimes (deterrence), rehabilitating people who have committed crimes, and protecting the public. In a criminal case, the State or federal government brings the defendant to trial, and a responsible decision usually fallout in jail time, a fine, or both. In Harris County, Texas, while defendants are charged by the county prosecutor’s office, the charge itself reads: “The State of Texas v.”
Burden of proof
In criminal cases, the defendant is not required to prove his innocence. Instead, the prosecutor must prove to the judge that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged. Many Houston criminal attorneys who have been in trial know the prosecutor will try and switch the burden of proof, suggesting the defendant has not produced evidence of his innocence, but the best Houston criminal lawyers know to object to this.
Only admissible evidence can be used in a criminal case. Specific Texas evidence rules prevent an accused’s prior bad acts or deeds from being admitted. This is because the accused is on trial for the crime he allegedly committed, not for whether he is a bad person.
The accused is punished through probation or imprisonment if he is convicted. He may have to pay a fine.
This is the lawsuit between two or more parties. It can occur at a private individual or business level. For example, when customers refuse to pay their bills or companies fail to deliver a services, a civil suit is filed. Civil law case can be between two people or between a company and a person; where the compensation is awarded to the winning party.
Challenges to decisions of administrative tribunals, allegations of medical malpractice and applications for distribution of the estates of deceased persons are other examples of civil cases. The party who initiates the legal action in the court is known as the plaintiff, while the party being sued is the defendant. The courts may dismiss cases without merit. In Houston, Texas, courts often do this when they grant summary judgment. The courts may order the losing party to take corrective action, although the usual outcome is an order to pay damages – a monetary award designed to make up for the harm inflicted.
Burden of proof
Plaintiffs in a civil law suit only need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant is liable. This is a lower burden of proof than in a criminal case.
The issue to be decided is whether or not the defendant is liable civilly.