The Differences Between a Criminal Law Attorney and Personal Injury Attorney
Criminal law attorneys and personal injury attorneys are two of the most sought-after types of attorneys in the United States. Although each has a different specialization, it is important to know what each can do for you and how they are different from each other.
What is a Criminal Law Attorney?
A criminal law attorney, also known as criminal defense lawyers, are professionals who defend those who are accused of a crime. Their clients can range from individuals, corporations, and entities.
Crimes range from misdemeanor offenses to felony offenses. The former ranges from community service and fines to a maximum of 1 year in jail; the latter ranges from more than a year in jail and the possibility of going to a state jail rather than a local jail. A criminal law attorney should be able to handle both.
According to the U.S. Constitution, any person who is charged for committing a crime should be provided representation. Representation is one of the primary duties of a criminal law attorney.
What is a Personal Injury Attorney?
A personal injury attorney is someone who represents people who have been physically or psychologically affected by cases of negligence and voluntary actions. Needless to say, their clients are individuals.
Personal injury attorneys specialize in tort law which involves wrongful acts that result in legal liability. Hence, the goal of these attorneys is to make the person, organization, or entity responsible accountable to the plaintiff. This accountability can manifest through compensation for medical losses, earnings lost due to sickness or inability to perform work duties, distress, and trauma. Legal fees are also included in the compensation demanded by the defendant.
Major Differences between Criminal Law Attorneys and Personal Injury Attorneys
Just by knowing what these two lawyers do, you can already have a sense of their main differences. Nonetheless, here are the major differences between criminal law attorneys and personal injury attorneys.
The goal of a criminal law attorney is to defend his client from the charges he is facing. To be able to do that, he or she will hold his own investigation and prepare their client for trial. To add to that, an important duty of a criminal law attorney is to protect their client’s constitutional rights. Whether their client is guilty or innocent, every citizen of the United States has their right to deny unreasonable searches.
For personal injury attorneys, their main goal is to make their client “whole again”. Although in most cases this is not possible especially for permanent injuries and trauma, compensation has become the way for making up for these losses. Aside from getting compensation for their client, personal injury attorneys seek to prove that there has been negligence or voluntary decisions done by the defendant that resulted in the injury of their client.
On one hand, a criminal law attorney’s specialization is criminal law. This is a branch of law that deals with crimes and laws placed by the State that prohibit certain behaviors. This includes enforcing these laws and defending against those accused whether wrongfully or otherwise. A crime is committed when a person’s behavior goes against criminal laws. As mentioned earlier, these crimes have their own set of punishments.
On the other hand, a personal injury attorney handles cases that fall under personal injury law. Personal injury law is an umbrella for cases that involve car and motor accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, slip and fall accidents, and wrongful deaths.
Likewise, the output that clients can expect from a criminal law attorney and a personal injury attorney is different. Criminal law attorneys can work on lowering the jail time and the penalties given to an individual found guilty of a crime. Personal injury attorneys, however, can work on getting the highest compensation possible to pay for all the losses experienced by their client.
Knowing the difference between the kinds of attorneys can help you determine which professional you should call in an event that you need legal representation or assistance. This will also help you understand the differences if processes and outputs that you can expect from your attorney.
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