Criminal Defense Law involves prosecution by the state or federal government of a person or business for an act that has been classified as a crime. Any act or omission of an act in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it is considered a "crime." Crimes are classified as "misdemeanors" (less serious offenses that are normally punishable by a fine like some traffic violations, petty theft, or possession of a small amount of marijuana) and "felonies" (more serious offenses that warrant imprisonment of one or more years, such as rape, grand theft, assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, or homicide/murder).
In Criminal Defense Law, the suit is initiated by the state or federal government through a prosecutor rather than being initiated by the victim. Plaintiffs in a civil law suit only need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant is 51% or more liable (responsible) for the damages. But, the prosecutor in a criminal defense law case has to prove to the judge or jury "beyond the shadow of a doubt" that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged.
Should I hire a lawyer? Due to the very serious and complex nature of criminal defense law and because few people qualify for a court appointed attorney at public expense, it's probably in your best interest to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Contact us for a consultation if you feel you need representation in this area.