Distinction between a criminal wrong from a civil wrong

Criminal wrong

  • This is an act or omission committed or omitted in violation of public law.
  • It is a wrong against the state.
  • Examples include murder, rape, drunken driving, incitement to violence causing death by dangerous driving, incest assault theft by servant uttering a false document
  • Persons who commit criminal wrongs are generally arrested by the state. They are then charged in a court of law and prosecuted by the state.
  • If convicted they may be fined imprisoned, or subjected to capital or corporal punishment.


Civil wrong

  • This is the violation of a persons rights by another.
  • It is a wrong against a person i.e. human being, corporation or the state.
  • Examples include breach of contract negligence, assault, battery, false imprisonment, defamation, nuisance, passing off deceit, conversion.
  • The plaintiff sues the defendant for the wrong and must prove his case.
  • Remedies for the plaintiff include damages, injunction, specific performance tracing account, winding up.

Distinction between a criminal wrong from a civil wrong


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