Criminal law is the body of criminal law, which applies to criminal behavior. It applies to the behavior of individuals, organized groups, organizations, and institutions. It also includes white-collar crimes such as fraud and homicide.
The United States created the United States Criminal Code. This is the codification of the criminal laws of the states and the United States as a whole. It consists of sentences that are imposed by courts on those who commit crimes in the United States or elsewhere.
Criminal law also refers to the punishments imposed on criminal offenders. Punishment is the result of a verdict obtained at a court trial for an alleged crime. The penalties may be imprisonment, fines, lifetime parole, death sentences, and all other forms of penalties. The degree of the sentence and its effects depend upon the nature of the crime and the state where the crime is committed.
Constitutional limitations also form part of criminal law. Constitutional limitations are designed to prevent the Court from overruling an Act of Congress once it has been enacted. A common feature of the criminal proceeding is that persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In criminal proceedings, proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of the crime, the procedure for acquiring evidence, the burdens of proof, and the procedure in which the evidence is obtained are determined in criminal cases under the usual conditions of a trial by the jury and are not controlled by the decisions of the Court in criminal cases.
Criminal charges in the United States are commonly of two types-felonies and misdemeanors. A felony is a crime with a potential penalty of more than a year’s imprisonment or more than a year of actual monetary damage. Most felonies are punishable by a year of imprisonment. Misdemeanors are punishable by lesser penalties. Misdemeanors are not, however, considered as crimes, but merely “billy” offenses, punishable by a year or less of imprisonment. Felonies are punishable by sentences of more than a year of imprisonment.
Criminal laws in the United States are grouped into several major categories, including Punishment, Location, Time, Eligibility, Importance and Effectiveness. Punishments are either sentences or terms of years. Sentences are imposed for criminal acts. Criminal acts include murder, manslaughter, arson, assault, DUI/DWI (Driving Under the Influence/Driving Felon), Shoplifting, Identity Theft, Drug Trafficking, Obstructing a Peace officer (obstruction of justice), conspiracy, racketeering, fraud, racketeering (enterprise fraud), and other serious criminal acts. Location includes locations where criminal acts occurred, including specific locations where these crimes occurred in the state, federal, and/or local jurisdiction. Time and eligibility refer to when an accused is eligible for punishment, in other words, when he can be arrested and prosecuted.
Eligibility refers to being found guilty and being subjected to punishment. In a criminal court, the procedures used to find guilty are known as voir dire. These include testimony from witnesses, police investigation, presentation of evidence, arrest, and verdict. The process of sentencing begins after the verdict has been reached, either by the criminal court or by the jury.
There are many levels of criminal justice, from state criminal law to federal criminal law. Criminal prosecution is the procedure in which criminal law is pursued by the state or federal government. Apart from state criminal law, most federal criminal laws are enforced by the US Department of Justice. Most civil law systems also allow for criminal prosecution by private parties.
Criminal prosecution deals with the prosecution of criminal acts such as murder, manslaughter, arson, assault, DUI /DWI, sexual abuse and other sex-related crimes. Criminal defense involves defending accused individuals charged with criminal acts like murder, rape, conspiracy, torture, or other serious criminal charges. Civil law systems are responsible for defending the rights of people charged with civil law crimes. Civil law is separate from the criminal law, so most criminal cases from state to state end up in a civil court.
In some criminal cases, the state or federal government requires the service of an attorney on the defense. Attorneys represent the government in criminal law proceedings and are present at all proceedings as well. Criminal defense lawyers provide a legal defense to their clients who have been accused of various criminal acts. Representing one’s self may be an option, but this option may not always be wise. Therefore, criminal defense lawyers form the backbone of our criminal justice system, serving the citizens of their communities with the assurance that they will be afforded fairness in their criminal procedures and will be accorded the rights and justice that they deserve.
Criminal law solicitors play a fundamental role in our society. These dedicated professionals focus their time and energy helping to determine the severity of various criminal offences, while also attempting to help their clients through the criminal process. Criminal law solicitors are there to provide the legal expertise and guidance to individuals or families who have been accused of different types of criminal offences. From drunk driving to murder, sexual assault to drug offences, no one is too small or too large to seek the services of criminal law solicitors.