Serving Maryland and Washington D.C. 301.870.1200

Do You Need a Criminal Defense or Personal Injury Attorney?

gavel & stethoscopeIf you have never been sued or arrested before, it can be easy to confuse proceedings and understand how each type of case is finalized. In some situations, you may have cases pending in both criminal and civil court, making it even more confusing.

Criminal Court Cases

If you are being “sued” in a criminal court, it means the government is bringing charges against you for an activity that violates a local state or federal law. Formal charges fall under two main categories, misdemeanors (less serious offenses that involve penalties of 12 months or less in jail) and felonies (more serious offenses that can bring a year or longer in prison). Charges are brought on behalf of “The People,” and are either prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for federal crimes or the Maryland State Attorney’s office for state-level crimes.

In a criminal matter, the victim is not the one to bring the charges, the government does. In some instances, there may not be a victim per se. Some crimes are considered an offense against society as a whole, which may include driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, which could result in harm to another person and/or property.

When it comes to disposition of a criminal matter, the result, or sentence, is usually a combination of the following penalties: fine/restitution to a victim, community service, jail or prison time, and/or probation or parole.

If you have criminal charges pending against you or a loved one, you need to hire a competent Charles County criminal defense attorney to help you fight these charges and either get the case thrown out or the charges reduced.

Civil Court Cases

Civil cases are actions that are brought on by a person or entity, which could be a corporation or even the government in some cases. The basis of the lawsuit is that the defendant failed to honor a legal duty owed to the plaintiff. Some of the most common civil actions result from incidents like an injury incurred during an auto accident, failure to pay rent, or a breach of contract.

A breach of contract case may normally be a state matter, but if the parties are from different states, or the disputed amount exceeds the minimum $75,000, the case may be heard in federal court under the federal diversity statute. Individuals or corporations can also bring civil suits in federal court if there is a question of constitutional rights or a federal statute.

The resolution in a civil case is almost always a monetary settlement or judgement if the case goes to trial. In some cases, a contractual dispute may involve settlement that requires the losing party to “do something” or honor the terms of a contract or agreement.

If you are planning to bring a civil lawsuit against another party, you would want to hire a Charles County personal injury attorney.

Retaining a Maryland Attorney

If you have any questions on what type of attorney you need, let our knowledgeable team of Maryland attorneys at the Law Office of Robert R. Castro help figure it out. Contact us at 301-870-1200, or visit our website at www.castrolawgroup.com.

This article has been provided by Law office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions contact our office to speak to an experienced lawyer at (301)870-1200.

Law office of Robert Castro. 2670 Crain Highway #411, Waldorf, MD 20601. (301)870-1200

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