How is Criminal Negligence Different from Civil Negligence?
Criminal negligence is defined as when a person acts in a way that is significantly different from how a reasonable person would act in the same or similar circumstances. The difference between civil negligence and criminal carelessness is that the action may not be considered as a drastic deviation from what a reasonable person would have done in the same situation.
Criminal negligence refers to conduct that is considered so excessive and hasty that it is a clear departure from the way a normally sensible person would act and is considered to be more than merely an error in judgement or distraction.
Because the plaintiff in such a case only has to show that the defendant was most likely negligent, the plaintiff bears no burden of proof. However, in criminal negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is the highest level of proof, meaning that the evidence is so compelling that there is no other logical explanation save the defendant's criminal carelessness.
In a civil negligence case, a person's penalty is limited to the amount of damage caused to the plaintiff, i.e., reimbursement for the damages.
In cases of criminal carelessness, the penalties are substantially harsher, and a conviction can result in a prison sentence, a fine, and probation supervision. For example, under section 304A of the IPC, the penalty for criminal negligence resulting in death can be up to two years in prison and a fine, or both.
For example, if someone drove a car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and killed someone, that would be regarded criminal negligence because it would be considered extreme carelessness on their behalf.
the housekeeper, but not to the point of abandonment.
However, if a housekeeper in an office mops the floor but forgets to preserve a 'wet floor' signboard, any mishap that happens would be considered civil negligence because the housekeeper simply lacked reasonable attention but not extreme disregard.