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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Lawsuits by Victoria E. Green

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Civil Suits vs. Criminal Suits

The law can be divided into two major categories: civil and criminal. The same event can lead to both criminal and civil lawsuits. This is because the same event or behavior can hurt both the individual and society at large.
To protect society at large, there are statutes that forbid and punish certain behaviors and turn them into crimes. Without a specific statute criminalizing a specific behavior, there is no crime. For example, there are statutes that say if two people get into a fight, and one breaks the other’s arm, the act was a crime. On the other hand, there is no statute that says that in a verbal fight, the act of calling someone stupid is a crime. Without a statute criminalizing the act, the government ...

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