A crime is a wrong arising from a violation of a public duty. A tort is a wrong arising from the violation of a private duty. Again, however, a crime can also constitute a tort. For example, assault is a tort, but it is also a crime. A person who is assaulted may bring criminal charges against the assailant and may also sue the assailant for damages under tort law. An employee’s theft of his employer’s property that was entrusted to the employee constitutes the crime of embezzlement as well as the tort of conversion.
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