11 Differences: Civil Lawyers & Criminal Lawyers

We all, in our daily life routine, get to hear about the court cases and the adjoining lawyers handling the cases, but we never think of what is the purpose of this court and the case. Well, a court is there to shed a light over the agreement and the criminal record in accordance with the national laws. Courts make sure that people get justice and the decision is fair for every concerned body of the case. In case of the theft or dis-respect of law, court asks for a financial compensation or a punishment is given, but it depends on the court and the evidences presented.

There are those representatives of the court, known as lawyers, who collects evidences from the scene of theft or crime and then put it all in front of the judge. A lawyer is a counselor or solicitor who practices law and gains knowledge about legal issues to solve specific individualized problems of people. In the Quebec system, there are two types of lawyers.

Civil Lawyer

A counselor who focuses on civil law and deals with the matter of family, probate, corporate, property issues is a civil lawyer.

Criminal Lawyer

An attorney who is associated with criminal incidents and is hired for criminal cases is a criminal lawyer.
However, it should be kept in mind that both of the lawyer are different from each other in the context of objectives, separate set of law and the type of punishment given to the culprit.

Differences Between Civil Lawyers & Criminal Lawyers


The difference between civil lawyers and criminal lawyers start with their objectives. In civil cases, the lawyer asks the judge to give solution to a civil problem of the client such as; issues concerned with inheritance, problem that involves a contact or a family problem like divorce or he custody of a child. Trying to give the rights to the client is the objective of the lawyer. While, in case of a criminal case, the lawyer presents evidences in the favor of the person who has accused the crime. These crimes can include, murder, sexual assault or any kind of theft. Moreover, the criminal lawyer can also work for the cases including drug possession and making fake money.

Main Cause

The main cause of both the type of lawyers presenting themselves in front of court is also different. The principle of a civil lawyer is always the same, it is more or less about the two parties hurting or damaging each other because of personal or property issues. While the main cause or principle of a criminal lawyer is always about the attempt of a crime such as murder, theft or sexual exploitation. As already being explained, crime can also be introduced without the presence of any victim. This links to what the case of a drug possession is all about; a drug possession case is without the presence of a victim.


The two of lawyers work for entirely different cases. The civil lawyer stands against the one being damaged or hurt. The civil lawyer fights for justice in court or demands a compensation for the client in the form of money. In some situations, the lawyer speaks for the client asking about fixing of the damage property.

While the case for criminal lawyer is totally opposite. The criminal lawyer stands against the one who has accused the crime. The lawyer tries hard to get the criminal behind the bars of the jail to do justice to his/her client. The criminal lawyer presents the case in such a way that it encourage people to respect the law while discouraging the criminal behavior. In criminal cases, government is usually involved which works as a prosecution.

Representation of Lawyer

The appointing scenarios and representation of lawyers in the courts are also different. In case of civil lawsuits, the civil lawyers are hired by the clients to be a representative of the case and their application. The civil lawyers are also paid by the clients themselves. The court can also sue someone, and in this situation, the client is bound to hire and pay the lawyer himself. No court will be able to pay the lawyers as per the national laws.

While in the case of criminal problems, the criminal lawyers are hired by the court and the court asks them to collect evidence about the crime or theft being introduced. The government pays the criminal lawyers in most of the cases giving them the name of “defense lawyer” of government. They are usually the public defenders or lawyers.

Representation of Evidences

The representation of the evidence to strengthen the case also differs in terms of angles. The civil lawyers present clients as an evidence. The client, then proceeds with the case further, telling the audience or the court about the legal documentations and certain process to get the case in his/her favor. In the case of civil cases, the lawyer doesn’t demand for anyone to be sent to jail. The money is stake. The financial compensation is asked such an asset to get the case in favor.

While the criminal lawyer deal with a burden of proof. The criminal lawyer is asked to prove the evidences collected in order to do justice with the clients. There is no financial compensation in case of criminal issues. The client is asked to complete a punishment as order by the court. The punishment is usually getting jailed.


If the civil lawyer wins the case, he can demand for money. This type of demand is known as contingency fee. Contingency fee is asked and is paid when the decision of the court in the favor of the client and the civil lawyer wins the case. This is the most common fee structure of civil lawyers. While the criminal lawyers don’t demand for contingency fee. They are getting paid for the case. They have nothing to do with losing or wining the case. They fight for justice and that’s what they are paid for.

Standards of Performance

Both the lawyers need to meet different type of standards of performance to win the case. Civil lawyers are supposed to perform against the negligence because of what the damage is caused. They fight for the party which bear the damage. And tries to achieve the level of performance required to win the case. While the criminal lawyer performs to get the culprit or guilty behind the bars by crock or hook. The criminal lawyer works for the government in order to know the reason of reason and the loose bear by the withholding party. The burden is to prove the guild beyond a reasonable doubt.

Process of Presentation of Case

Civil and criminal lawyers have the different process and procedure for preparing the case. Yet, both the lawyers require proper documentations about the case. In civil case, both the parties are asked to submit the complete details about the case with plaintiffs to proceed with the case. In case of criminal problems, the case is first submitted and then the lawyer is assigned to investigate further on the case. He gets to find more evidences and other types of clues to be presented in front of the court.

Types of Orders, the Judge make

After the hearing of both the cases, it is up to the judge to make orders or give decisions to the audience and the clients. In the case of civil lawyer, the judge gives the documents a thorough read to know about the issue and then makes it to the civil lawyer to inform the client and both the parties included in. In case of criminal lawyer, the judge goes through the set of evidence to know about the introduction of crime. The judge decides on this own and then involves the lawyer to get the culprit behind the bars.

Deadline of the Case

The civil lawyers have been given a number of deadline to meet with the requirements of the court or to complete the document to give the decision in your favor. While the criminal lawyers have no deadline to present the case or bring in someone who has accused the case. When a crime is accused, the lawyer of prosecutor is asked to find the evidences.

Type of Cases

One of the interesting example of a case handled by a civil lawyer is the violation of the federal rules and regulations. Individuals, corporations and businesses are also involved in civil cases asking about their right or claiming over property or inheritance issues. While the types of cases performed by the criminal lawyers are when a crime such as murder, kidnapping, theft is introduced. When an individual commits a crime, the court charges him a sentence. This sentence can be changed after a number of hearing or usually after the presentation of evidences. The sentence enlists the punishment for the crime introduced.


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