Criminal vs. Civil
Anthony Kearns, Victor Rotolo, and the attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law handle both civil matters and criminal matters. While we deal with these different types of cases on a daily basis, we realize that quite often our clients may not understand the differences between a civil matter versus a criminal matter. Below we provide a brief explanation of some of the key differences between a civil and criminal matter which may be useful. If, after reading the information you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our law office to speak with one of our attorneys.
Victor Rotolo successfully argues before the NJ Supreme Court in a case of constitutional import, in which the Court ruled that a DUI conviction cannot be used in any later DUI case for sentencing purposes if, (1) the individual plead or was found guilty, and (2) the individual was not advised of his/her right to counsel and, as to indigent individuals, the right to assigned counsel.
Victor A. Rotolo has been included on the List of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, marking his seventeenth year of inclusion on this list. The list of New Jersey Super Lawyers is generated by the Thomson Reuters organization which employs the following methodology and set of standards to compile the list each year. Super Lawyers Selection Methodology [No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.]
Victor A. Rotolo is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney.
"A certified attorney is more than just an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law. A New Jersey attorney who is certified by the Supreme Court as a civil trial attorney must have:
- been a member in good standing of the New Jersey bar for over 5 years
- demonstrated a substantial level of experience in civil trial law
- been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his or her work
- taken and passed a written examination in civil trial law."
Source: Supreme Court of New Jersey, Board on Attorney Certification, Brochure on Certified Civil Trial Attorney. See Rule 1:39: Specialty Certification of Attorneys.
A harmful act committed against our society is referred to as a crime and falls under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Justice System. Criminal offenses are accusations of a crime against our society in general and as a whole. In contrast, civil cases mainly involve disputes between people or entities (i.e., a corporation).
There are other key differences between a criminal and civil case. Some key differences noted are as follows:
|Commencement: A civil case begins with a claim by a plaintiff (a person or entity such as a corporation or the government) against a defendant (the person failing to carry out a legal duty owed to the plaintiff).||Commencement: A criminal case begins when the harmful act is committed. A victim of a criminal act is not responsible for initiating a case against the accused. The government, either federal or state, will prosecute an accused criminal.|
|Parties: There is a plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) which are also referred to as ‘parties’ or ‘litigants.’||Parties: The government prosecutes the case through the United States Attorney's Office (federal crimes) or the New Jersey’s attorney's office (state crimes).|
|Outcome: Courts order the defendant to fulfill a duty or to make compensation for harm done or possibly both.||Outcome: A person that is found guilty of committing a crime receives a sentence, and the sentence may be in the form of|
|Purpose: The purpose of civilian law is to make sure that rights under the Constitution or under Federal or State Law are protected.||Purpose: The purposes of criminal law are to protect and to serve.|
|Attorneys Fees: Each party pays directly for his/her attorney fees although sometimes the payment of legal fees is included in the Court’s ruling||Attorneys Fees: Our Federal and State taxes pay for the prosecuting attorney’s salary (and the entire office); most times the accused pays for his/her legal fees, however, a court-appointed attorney is used when the accused cannot pay legal fees|
|Examples: contract disputes between parties, sexual harassment suits, accidents.||Examples: murder, assault, rape, sexual abuse, theft, robbery, burglary, fraud.|
If you or a loved one is accused of committing a crime, call the experienced attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law.
Call Kearns Rotolo Law today - (908) 534-7900.