American Legal System
One of the ways the American legal system can be broken down is to distinguish the two separate branches of civil law and criminal law. Civil law is used to settle disagreements between two or more parties and can involve any combination of private citizens, businesses, government institutions and agencies, or other parties. When someone commits a crime it is considered to be a crime against the government where only the government can charge someone with a crime. In some situations, a person who is charged and tried for a crime may also be tried in a civil court where the outcome of one case is not supposed to have any influence on the other.