Criminal Courts

Court decisions have profound effects on our everyday lives, both as individuals and as a society. While decisions from the higher courts determine how laws should be interpreted and affect the lives of all people, lower court decisions determine how to prosecute crimes and resolve individual disputes.

A legal dispute can be resolved in either a criminal court or a civil court, depending on what type of situation has occurred. If you have been charged with a DWI or are facing other legal troubles, it is important to understand how your case will be handled and to know the difference between the two types of courts.

Criminal and Civil Courts

Courts are designated by the types of cases they handle:

  • Criminal courts. The purpose of a criminal court is to handle criminal cases and to prosecute those who have been charged with a crime. In criminal courts, the defendant is the person or party who has been charged with a crime, while the prosecution represents the state or U.S. government. Essentially, in criminal cases, the government is suing the person accused of the crime on behalf of the general public. If you have been charged with drunk driving, drug possession, robbery, assault, arson, embezzlement, murder, or other crimes, you will be tried in a criminal court.
  • Civil courts. Civil courts handle situations that involve private relationships between individuals or between organizations. For example, some offenses may be harmful but not defined as criminal in nature, such as medical malpractice, and thus are handled in civil courts. Other cases handled by civil courts include divorce, harassment, discrimination, and financial disputes.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with a DWI, contact Dallas drunk driving lawyer Mark T. Lassiter at (214) 845-7007 to find out how our attorneys can protect your rights in court.


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