Question: How do they determine if the death may be punishable by criminal action? What is the difference between the civil and criminal cases that can be filed?
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Answer: If the death was caused criminally, that is classified as a crime by the government, the one (or ones) responsible will be charged by law enforcement. Civil cases arise when there are disputes over the reasons behind the death, that someone else was directly and negligently responsible for the death. It is more difficult to prove guilt in a criminal case, which penalizes differently, imposing criminal sanctions. In civil cases, monetary judgments are awarded against the defendants.