Criminal Defense Lawyers – What Is Covered By A Criminal Lawyer?
Criminal law is perhaps the most important body of civil law which encompasses crime. It primarily prescribes conduct perceived to be harmful, menacing, dangerous, or otherwise potentially dangerous to another person’s property, health, security, and moral well being. The prosecutor in a criminal case seeks judgments that will be in favor of the state by seeking an acquittal in criminal court. The prosecutor also seeks a position of not guilty thereby allowing a person accused of crime to be tried under the principles of the law. Criminal law is very complex and difficult to understand for those who are unfamiliar with criminal cases.
The penalties associated with criminal offenses include imprisonment, which is a term of up to a year, and/or a fine. Other possible penalties consist of probation, fines, community service, incarceration, and disqualifications from holding certain public offices such as police officer, lawyer, or judge. Criminal offenses can also be subjected to a financial fine, which is imposed as a consequence of a conviction. Some states allow enhancements to punishments for first-degree offenses.
There are two elements required for criminal law punishment; namely, the action and the intention. Intention is what causes the commission of the crime and it must be clear to the government and the victim as to what the intent is. Elements of the crime are divided into first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree crimes. First-degree criminal acts require that the defendant intended the commission of the crime; second-degree only requires that he did so accidentally. Third-degree crimes require an element of knowingly doing a specific act, not an accident, which has resulted in a particular result.
Criminal law punishment is often determined by various factors. A person accused of criminal acts is entitled to defense counsel, a legal representative to advise on the charges against him, if available, and to make a fair decision in facing the charges. He is also entitled to certain allowances such as bail, fines, and rehabilitation. In some cases, judges give summary lashes for minor criminal acts, although they cannot impose sentences.
The sentencing process in criminal law also involves the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime. The punishment is based on the level of responsibility attributed to the offender. Less severe infractions result in less severe punishments. Less serious infractions include habitual court fines; imprisonment, and heavy monetary awards. More serious crimes such as murder, arson, rape, robbery, and assault result in stiffer punishments.
Felonies and other more serious criminal offenses such as possession of drugs or trafficking drugs are punishable by jail time and substantial fines. A prosecution for a felony is usually a lengthy process with significant evidence and arguments in court. A person who has been accused of a felony may be entitled to relief under the presumption of innocence. This allows the person to be tried within a specified time period after which he or she must stand trial for the crime if found guilty.