When most people think of legal cases, they think of criminal cases — murder, robbery, assault. But the law covers a vast range of topics, some of which can be particularly complex. This article will decode some of the more common types of legal cases. Anybody should have the basic knowledge of these cases to be more informed when working with a lawyer or going to court.
Criminal cases are the most well-known type of legal case. The punishment for a criminal conviction can range from a simple fine to imprisonment. This is a general idea, and there is more to it.
Let us find out the various types of cases.
Criminal cases involve an accused person who has been charged with a crime, and the case is tried in court to determine whether the person is guilty. In such cases, the government prosecutes the accused person. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, and they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person committed the crime. If the accused person is found guilty, they will be sentenced according to the punishment set forth by law for that particular crime. It can include fines, community services, and prison sentences as well.
Civil cases involve disputes between two or more private individuals, organizations, or companies. These disputes can include contract disputes, property disputes, and personal injury lawsuits. Civil cases are heard in state or federal court, and the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, who must prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that they must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant is liable for the damages.
If the plaintiff successfully proves their case, the court will order the defendant to pay damages to the plaintiff. These damages can be monetary or an injunction, a court order telling the defendant to do or not do something to compensate.
Family Law Cases
It is a type of civil case but involves families. Family law cases involve disputes between family members. This can include divorces, child custody disputes, and child support cases. Family law cases are heard in state court.
- Marriage Dissolution — An annulment is the legal end of a marriage. One of the spouses must file a petition for divorce with the court to get it. The other spouse will then be served with the petition and allowed to respond. Once the case is in court, the judge will decide on child custody, property division, alimony, etc. A divorce lawyer will be able to help you with the formalities.
- Paternity or Custody — A paternity case is a family law case where the father of a child is trying to establish his legal rights. This can include custody and visitation rights and the right to be involved in important decisions about the child’s life. A paternity case can also be used to establish child support payments.
- Adoption — Adoption is the legal process by which a child becomes a legal member of a family other than their birth parents. The prospective adoptive parents must first file a petition with the court to adopt a child. The birth parents will then consent to or object to the adoption. Once the case is in court, the judge will decide whether to approve the adoption.
- Name Changes — You can legally change your name by filing a petition with the court. The process is pretty simple, and a lawyer can help you with all the paperwork. You will need to provide evidence that you have changed your name legally in another state or country or that you have been using your new name for at least 5 years.
- Domestic Violence — Domestic violence is a family law case in which one family member abuses another. The victim can file a petition for a restraining order, prohibiting the abuser from coming near them. If the abuser violates the restraining order, they can be arrested and charged with a crime.
- Juvenile Cases — Juvenile cases involve crimes committed by minors. The proceedings are confidential, and the records are sealed. This means that the juvenile’s name will not be made public, and the case will not appear on their criminal record. Minors found guilty of a crime will be sentenced to a rehabilitation program rather than prison. In addition to these, there may be child abuse or neglect, which need attention.
These are the various types of cases that you will come face to face with at one point or the other. So, it is necessary to stay abreast of these.