Criminal law is the body of criminal law which relates to criminal behavior. It presumes the intent to commit the act charged by the law. It also includes civil law, wherein a person’s civil rights are violated. The person violated may be a public official, a private individual, or a member of the clergy. Criminal law also governs non-criminal acts such as abuse, battery, child pornography, theft, vandalism, fraud, identity theft, terrorism, sex offenders, and assault.
Criminal law is divided into seven classes: attempted crime, felony, misdemeanor, infraction, piracy, house burglary, and capital offenses. An attempt is an act in furtherance of the commission of a crime, although the actual act does not occur. Felony is the class wherein a felony charge is filed against someone for an act classified as a felony. Misdemeanor comes next, followed by infraction and piracy. Commonly punishable by one year in prison, a misdemeanor is less severe than a felony charge and is punishable by two years to three years in prison. Piracy is punishable by up to one year in prison.
A criminal law case begins with the police investigation and the arrest of the suspect. Suspects are informed of their right to a lawyer, at this stage known as the Miranda warning. This protects them from being able to talk with anyone about the crime or to make any admissions. In some states, suspects are required to post bail. This serves as their surety and guarantees that they will appear in court and for certain proceedings in a positive light.
The accused then has the option to defend himself in criminal law court. This involves proving their innocence by presenting evidence that they are not guilty of the crime or that the state has not presented enough evidence to convict them. If the defendant does not have a strong enough defense, then the court will sentence them to imprisonment for the time they are scheduled to serve in jail based on their crimes.
People who commit crimes have many ways to avoid the criminal law. Those who commit crimes often hire other people to commit crimes for them. For example, someone may hire another person to burglarize a home. However, this is not considered a criminal activity in most states unless the person pays for the services.
Criminal acts fall into three categories: criminal acts, criminal intent, and civil law. Criminal acts include murder, assault, homicide, arson, rape, theft, embezzlement, perjury, forgery, conspiracy, solicitation, racketeering, fraud, and abuse of a child. Criminal intent involves what the defendant intended to do when he commits the crime. Civil law encompasses these types of cases involving injuries, property damage, and medical malpractice. For more information regarding criminal law, contact a criminal attorney.