Criminal law is basically the body of legislation that applies to criminal activity. It prescribes criminal conduct perceived to be dangerous, menacing, threatening, or otherwise morally offensive to the public safety, security, and moral well-being of society in whole or partial form. Criminal law also includes a bunch of other legislation such as arson, assault, disorderly conduct, fraud, pornography, theft, racketeering, and fraud. In the US, the federal criminal law exists primarily in the penal code which implements sentences for federal crimes such as murder, assault, bank robbery, arson, kidnapping, transportation of stolen goods, embezzlement, burglary, witness tampering, conspiracy, perjury, theft, drug possession, drug trafficking, and conspiracy to commit a federal crime. There are state criminal codes also which carry out the same punishments for federal offenses.
Both criminal defense and civil law are distinctively different from each other. A criminal law case is governed by the governing law, while the procedure of civil law litigation is governed by the statutory laws of a country. Civil jurisdiction is limited to particular kinds of crimes that are not criminal. People who are involved in civil law suits are considered as victims or defendants within the jurisdiction of a country.
Civil rights are protected by the law to which a person has been subjected. Civilian victims are not granted the right to be proceeded against in criminal law cases. If charged with a criminal offense, the accused has the constitutional right to an attorney, to consult with a court, to make discovery, to have a preliminary examination, to have a jury trial, and many more.
Criminal defense lawyers defend clients against criminal offenses. They argue for the rights of the accused under the Fifth Amendment and Sixth Amendment, as well as other constitutional grounds. They also conduct criminal law proceedings and provide representation to clients on matters ranging from drunk driving accidents to murder and drug offenses. Defense lawyers offer expert testimony in these cases and represent the client at trials.
When a person is charged with committing a crime, the government seeks to prove that the accused committed the crime by using various methods. The most common methods employed by the government to prove a person’s guilt include use of forensic evidence, testimony by witnesses, secret observations, tests of influence, and secret communications. In English common law, there are three different forms of trials depending upon the state and nature of the crime. The method of proving the guilt of a person depends upon the nature of the crime, its intent, and the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime.
Every crime has a unique form of criminal law defenses. Each type of defense is unique because it is intended to explain the reason someone would commit the crime, how they could get caught, and the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime. There are two types of defenses: affirmative defenses and negative defenses. Affirmative defenses are used to explain why the act was done, the facts which support the reason, and the proof required to prove the defense.