Civil vs. Criminal Trials
Updated: 12/11/2020
Civil vs. Criminal Trials
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Judicial Lesson Plans

Judicial Branch

Lesson Plans by Matt Campbell

The Judicial Branch is just one of three branches of government in the United States, and exists to judge the laws created and enforced by the other two branches. With the activities in this lesson plan, students will develop a strong understanding for the purpose and responsibilities of the Judicial Branch of the United States Government.




The Judicial Branch

Storyboard Description

Branches of Government - The Judicial Branch - Criminal Vs. Civil trial

Storyboard Text

  • Who is the trial between?
  • CIVIL
  • VS.
  • Who is the trial between?
  • CRIMINAL
  • VS.
  • In a civil trial, the trial is between two parties, or individuals. The disputes are usually over legal disputes, divorces, injuries, negligence, or breaches of contract.
  • What are the results of the trial?
  • BreachOfContract
  • Divorce$199/$399
  • A criminal trial is between an individual or party versus the government. A criminal trial occurs when an individual or party has broken a law of society, and they admit guilt, or attempt to deny or justify their actions.
  • What are the results of the trial?
  • In a civil trial, the individual at fault is usually punished by paying the plaintiff a sum, as determined by the judge.
  • Who decides the case?
  • Depending on the severity of the crime, the guilty party can be forced to pay a fine, serve jail time, serve probation, or in some states they can be executed.
  • Who decides the case?
  • Image Attributions:"Crime Scene Do Not Cross" tape (https://www.flickr.com/photos/textexin/3612094774/) - Tex Texin - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • In most civil trials, a judge presides over the case and determines guilt. A civil trial can have a jury if either side requests one.
  • In a criminal trial, a jury listens to the evidence and witnesses, and uses that information to determine guilt. A judge presides over the case to ensure a fair legal process, but it is up to the jury to determine guilt.

Image Attributions

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