It is not surprising for people to injure damage or commit bad acts against another. The reason is obvious, no one is perfect. As it is innate for man to do good, he is most likely tempted to do bad. In the community where we live, some of those bad acts are characterized as crimes while others are characterized as personal torts. Crimes are those acts committed by an individual that are against a particular law enacted by the state. According to the Lectic Law Library, personal tort is those civil acts that are negligent or intentional not arising out of an agreement or law (“Tort”).
In other words, there is no inference of a law for the act to be considered as a crime since it is a civil wrong. There are many reasons why we need to categorize bad acts as being placed into one category or another. There are many factors to consider. First, we need to consider the nature of the bad act, whether it is a civil wrong or a criminal one. A criminal act is an act done against a provision of a law or statute. There exists an understanding or agreement between the person and the state that in case of violation of the law there is a corresponding punishment.
A civil wrong is one that is intentionally or negligently done not arising out of a statute, contract or agreement. A classic example of this is when a pedestrian was a hit by a bus. There is no common carrier contract between the pedestrian and the bus but it is common sense that no one should hurt another in whatever means. A person must be held responsible for very bad act he or she committed. Second, we need to consider the gravity of the offense. Bad acts that belong to crimes are those wrongful acts that need to be punished severely since it is presumed that the individual already knew about the existence of the law.
It has been said that ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. Thus, since criminal acts are graver than civil ones, it is proper that it should be given higher penalties. In most cases, punishment for civil wrongs is lesser than those imposed under criminal laws. Finally, we need to consider the intent and motive of the person who committed the act. In case of criminal acts, the intent of the act must be established. When there are no witnesses to prove that a crime has been committed, motive must be established too.
These are the only ways that we can detect in the mind of the offender if he or she really intended to injure or kill a person. In case of civil wrongs, establishment of intent is not necessary. The moment a person is found to be negligent in his or her acts; he or she could be placed under trial before the law to be given a lesser punishment though. In short, having a deliberate intent to commit a crime is graver than just being negligent.
The Lectic Law Library’s Lexicon on Tort. (2008). Tort. Retrieved July 16, 2008, from http://www. lectlaw. com/def2/t032. htm.