Civil Litigation, Criminal Law, Family Law

What’s the Difference Between Civil, Family & Criminal Law?

Civil, Family & Criminal Law

There are many areas of the law that lawyers in Calgary can work on and build up their expertise on. From family law and commercial law to civil and criminal law. And even in those distinct areas of the law, there are different things you can work more on.

An experienced lawyer will collect not only the expertise of multiple cases and their outcomes but also the resources they gather throughout the years such as relationships and experts they can rely on depending on the case.

Three of the most common areas of law to be part of our lives are family law, civil law, and criminal law. On the next short topics let us look over what each of those means and deals with.

Family Law

Family law is an area of law that deals with matters related to the family unit. One of the most important documents to deal with family law in Alberta is the Family Law Act (or FLA).

The Family Law Act is an important document that lays out guidelines and rules regarding child and partner support, what are the parenting obligations and responsibilities to the children, and more topics related to the family unit. Another important document is the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act which aims to better protect the rights of children and their needs.

Family law also deals with marriage and divorce. Marriage and common law unions in Alberta have had the same level of protection before the law since 2020. Divorce is one of the most common situations in which someone might need a family lawyer in Calgary. Since divorce can be quite a complex topic, it is highly recommended that you have a seasoned family lawyer with you to go over all the necessary guidelines. In Alberta, divorces are ruled by the Divorce Act, and to be granted one it needs to fall under its conditions.

Civil Law

Civil Litigation Lawyer Calgary pertains to conflicts and disputes between individuals that believe to have suffered some kind of damage from the other party. It can be between businesses or may involve the government. The party accusing is called the plaintiff, and the party being sued is called the defendant.

In most cases, a judge will take all evidence, experts, and documents presented and analyze the case critically to come to a decision. To come up with a decision, the evidence must point to the most probable situation, that is, the plaintiff must prove to the judge that it is more likely than not for the defendant to be guilty. Most resolutions come with a form of remedy, and most commonly this remedy is financial compensation.

The process can be lengthy, expensive, and stress-inducing. There can be more than two parties involved, and depending on the case it can be very complex and time-consuming to present all evidence and expert opinions, review and analyze the other party’s documents, and receive a verdict from the judge. It is always advisable that whenever possible to avoid going to Court due to a civil matter and try to find a good common ground for all parties. Furthermore, it is extremely important to have an experienced lawyer with you during the process.

Criminal Law

Criminal law is the area of law that focuses on criminal charges, and what they mean to the accused. Criminal offences are some of the worst offences you can commit and can mean losing your liberty and living with the stigma of being a convicted felon. In this area, the stakes are high.

The most important piece of document that deals with criminal law is the Criminal Code. Based on it, someone can either commit a summary conviction or an indictable offence. Summary convictions are minor offences, and indictable offences are more serious offences like murder.

In criminal law, a Calgary Criminal Lawyer will defend the accused against the prosecution, that is, the State. The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty and must pay for the crimes committed. A criminal lawyer will analyze proof against the accused to ensure a fair trial by acknowledging any evidence that was obtained by illegal means.

Since criminal offences can be considered in some instances as “crimes against society” it is highly advisable that you have an experienced criminal lawyer with you to support your case during this process to ensure your rights are being protected in case you are being accused of a criminal charge.

Overall, while every lawyer must study Law at university, there are multiple situations in which you may need someone with experience in a specific area. For that, always do your research and ensure the lawyer you are hiring has all the prerequisites to better attend to your situation. It is always in your best interests to have the opinion of those trained professionals, regardless of the severity of the case or the complexity of the area.

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