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Comparison definition. Civil negligence is any conduct that falls below the standard established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. Criminal negligence is the same as civil negligence plus either a greater risk of harm or a subjective awareness of the risk.


 The difference between criminal and civil negligence although not major is distinct. Under both standards, a person acts 'negligently' when he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a particular result will occur.


Under ordinary negligence, 'the risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. Criminal negligence requires a greater risk. This standard is met only when the risk is of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. Criminal negligence is something more than the slight degree of negligence necessary to support a civil action for damages and is negligence of a degree so gross as to be deserving of punishment.

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