Differences Between Civil and Criminal Liability


When it comes to responsibilities in the face of legality, there are two quite different types. However, this is something that not everyone knows. Therefore, in this post we are going to expose the  differences between civil and criminal liability.

What is civil liability?

Civil liability refers to  an obligation that can be contracted when damage is caused to a third person involuntarily. This is that we have to take responsibility for the damage caused and respond financially to compensate for the effects of it.

What is criminal liability?

Criminal responsibility is the legal consequence that is generated as a result of the commission of a crime classified in criminal law . Specifically, any human action that generates an injury or risk of injury to life, physical integrity, honor, liberty or public order is framed in acts punishable by criminal responsibility.

Differences between civil and criminal liability

Sanctions differ

When an offense of civil liability is committed, the sanction is  monetary,  while in criminal matters it is  deprivation of liberty .

Capacities are different

In other words,  not everyone can commit a crime of criminal responsibility. If you are not of legal age, regardless of the crime, it will be considered a civil liability infringement.

To contract civil liability , it is necessary that the person be between 7 and 16 years old and that it is proven that the minors acted consciously. From the age of 16, it is considered that there is full capacity to assume this responsibility.

Difference in affected people

Criminal responsibility  can only fall on a person  who would be responsible for the crime. However, civil liability can fall on several people. The first would be responsible for the crime but would also affect third parties who are considered civilly responsible.

Their faults cannot be reported by the same people

A crime of infringement of criminal responsibility  can be reported by anyone who knows that this occurs  unless it is a private action. However, for those crimes against civil liability , only the affected party and his heirs may report.

Prescriptions are not the same

While criminal liability , depending on the crime, can prescribe between six months and fifteen years , civil action has only one statute of limitations: four years after the crime was committed.

In the case of contractual civil liability, there are five years since the obligation became enforceable.

Now that you know the  differences between civil and criminal liability , we remember that the ideal is to always put yourself in the hands of legal experts. Only then will we get adequate advice depending on the case in question.

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