This is a good question. It’s asked of me more than any other questions.
These are examples of criminal matters:
Robberies, rapes, murders, all thefts, burglaries, dui’s, batteries, sex crimes, etc.
These are examples of civil matters:
Repossesion of any similarities, garnishments, rental disputes, etc.
The best way to tell if a charge, allegation, or matter is civil or criminal in character is to research the penalty. In other words, if the penalty can consequence in jail time, it’s a criminal matter. If the penalty is a fine or loss of the subject at hand, that’s civil.
Please keep this in mind though, in scarce circumstances a civil matter can end up criminally.
An example: You buy a means, can’t pay the car observe, and a repossesion order is placed on your means. The ‘repo’ man comes to take possession. As he begins to take your means you get into a physical struggle with him to prevent it. You hit him! Now you can be charge with battery. Your best defense in this kind of circumstance is to let him have it. You can always buy another means. It’s not worth it to go to jail and nevertheless lose your means.
The above example can also apply with garnishments, rental disputes or any other matter. The important thing to remember is not to escalate the civil matter into a criminal matter. In most situations you will nevertheless lose coupled with jail time. Not worth it!
Take care, excursion safe, and obey the laws.