Criminal law addresses the violation of a written law in which the State of Idaho
prosecutes an individual on behalf of the citizenry as a whole. Criminal law
violations generate the need to investigate crimes, prosecute defendants, and hold
offenders accountable, usually through penitentiary, jail or probationary sentences.
Civil law addresses personal or contractual disputes between individuals and/or
organizations. In most cases, civil disputes involve one person and/or organization
seeking compliance to a written or verbal agreement between themselves and a second
A police officer is charged with enforcing criminal law, not interpreting civil
law or mediating contract disputes. Due to lack of training and expertise
in the area of civil law, this agency will not offer legal advice concerning civil
matters beyond suggesting that the parties involved contact legal counsel.
If you need more information or legal advice, visit our Civil vs. Criminal
web page or
contact an attorney