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Each case brought to court is either criminal or civil. Every illegal infraction will come to a verdict after having gone through the stages of a civil or criminal proceeding. While there are a number of similarities, there are also key differences that the public should be aware of.

Criminal cases are brought to court as offenses carried out against the state. Since the state is considered the victim, these cases are prosecuted by state attorneys. Even if a criminal action has been carried out against a particular individual, the criminal case is still viewed as an action against the state as a whole rather than a single individual and is thus tried as such.

In criminal cases, a state prosecutor will be used against the defendant who will supply their own attorney or will be provided one by the state. Civil cases are understood as cases brought forth by individuals who feel as though they have been wronged by another individual. In such cases, the state will not provide attorneys.

The aftermath of both types of cases is vastly different. If a defendant loses a criminal case they will be charged with a fine, jail time, or another penalty that’s owed to the state. Civil cases on the other hand never involve jail time. If a plaintiff wins a civil case they will be awarded a certain amount of money from the defendant.

Another important difference to note is that criminal cases involve juries while civil cases often do not. Civil cases occasionally do call for a jury but often are merely decided upon by a judge.

Should an instance arise where you or someone you know finds themselves in need of one of the best Personal Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, or Premises Liability Attorneys in Evansville, Indianapolis, Louisville, or Owensboro area be sure to contact the Gerling Law Firm for a free consultation.

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Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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