Here is a link explaining the differences between "Criminal" vs. "Civil" law.
Civil and Criminal Law
I'm not a lawyer but what this tells me is a Defendant who commits a felony or misdemeanor will be charged by the state or federal /government, If the defendant is found to be innocent or not guilty they cannot be charged again for the same crimes. that would be a double jeopardy.
However a "Plaintiff" not the state or fed's can file civil charges against the defendant for compensation for their loss/losses. There are never jail sentences or incarcerations from civil cases.
Civil cases are easier to win because the plaintiff can "prove his/her case at a level of "clear and convincing evidence", which is a standard higher than preponderance, but less than "beyond a reasonable doubt." Source; link