Civil cases are typically private disputes between two people or smaller groups of people or even a company but a criminal case is when the actions of a person or a group of people is considered to cause or have the potential to cause harm to society as a whole.
A civil case can be brought in both a state or a federal court and it can involve a single person or a group of people or even a company, but the wrongdoing that the defendant is accused of only damages the person bringing the lawsuit.
Criminal cases are typically more familiar to the average person because many TV shows and movies focus on this type of court activity. Someone being charged with a crime will be charged by the government even though they may have a direct, individual victim. Someone charged with rape has obviously harmed one individual but rape is considered a crime against society as a whole. And whether that person is found guilty or innocent in their criminal trial, they may still face civil charges for the harm they caused to the individual.
Criminal cases also don't have to have a victim per se. Someone who is drunk driving but doesn't hit anyone or anything is still committing a crime, although there is no specific victim. The law still considers this a crime against society and therefore a criminal offense.
If you feel that you're the victim of someone else you should immediately contact either your local police and/or an attorney to see how to proceed with the case. If it's a criminal case your local district attorney's office will take over the case. If it's a civil case then your attorney can begin handling your lawsuit.
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