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Criminal Law Explained

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Criminal Law Explained

Criminal law can be defined as the system of laws that pertain to the legal examination and punishment of individuals who have broken the law or committed a crime. Continue reading for a thorough and informative break down of criminal law.

Criminal Code

The basis of the charges brought up under criminal law will be adhered to the state’s criminal code. Each state has their own criminal code that has been decided and put into place by state legislature. Federal criminal law is examined for some punishments, as well.

Criminal Liability and Intent

There are essentially three common elements of crime:

  • A voluntary act
  • A certain state of mind
  • The causation of the act and the effect

These elements are used to determine criminal liability. When examining a case under criminal law, the individual’s capability to abide by the law and their failure to do so is also considered; an accused individual’s guilt is often deliberated based upon whether or not they committed the illegal act knowingly or purposefully.

Someone who commits a crime unknowingly or out of sheer ignorance of the consequences of their action may be excused from their charges, as a voluntary and purposeful unlawful action is not present in this situation. For instance; if an individual picked up a cell phone from the surface of a table inside a restaurant believing it was their own cell phone and left the restaurant, it would not be agreed that the individual had premeditated intent to steal the device.

Mental Illness and Responsibility

In the case that the accused individual suffers from a mental illness that impairs their rationality or judgment, the responsibility of that individual may be questioned. When the mental state of the individual is proven to render them incapable of making rational decisions, the charges against the individual may be dropped, and they will not be held accountable for their actions. This ties in with individuals who are not charged for crimes they unknowingly commit; a person with a severe mental disability or illness is incapable of making a rational decision, and therefore it can be determined that they had no criminal intent.

Charges Examined Under Criminal Law

Below is a list of charges that are commonly examined and charged under criminal law:

  • Assault
  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Child Abuse/Abandonment
  • Credit or Debit Card Fraud
  • Possession/Trafficking/Distribution of Drugs
  • Fraud
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder (First, Second degree)
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Theft

Criminal law is recognized and enforced in order to uphold a moral code and to preserve the safety of society as a whole, and as such are taken very seriously in the court of law. If you are facing charges that will be examined under criminal law, you will need the guidance of an attorney. Trust in the professionals here at Jeremy Bryant Law to help you best handle your case.