Criminal law is basically the body of legislation that revolves around criminal behavior. It usually encompasses conduct perceived to be dangerous, threatening, or otherwise violating the criminal laws of a country. Criminal defense lawyers, on the other hand, defend individuals charged with crimes under these criminal laws. While there are different types of crimes in criminal law such as murder, arson, assault, robbery, drug offences, money laundering and fraud, all crimes are discussed in this law.
Criminal defense lawyers, whose services are provided by the Criminal Justice Lawyers Association of Illinois, deal with cases involving criminal offenses. They defend clients who have been charged with crimes irrespective of whether or not they have been convicted of these offenses. Criminal defense lawyers help the accused by building a case against them and helping them in court. There are various defense strategies practiced by criminal defense lawyers. These include self-representation, which is self-representation for oneself or one’s attorney; cooperative prosecution, in which the prosecuting attorneys agree to provide defense counsel to their client if the latter is guilty of the charged crime; and alternate representation, in which the accused is represented by another person either an expert in law or a court-appointed lawyer.
Criminal laws in Illinois have different provisions regarding the offense of murder. Murder is categorized as first degree, which is the most serious charge. The other levels of murder are second degree, third degree, and fourth degree. First and second degrees carry the maximum penalty, while the maximum sentences for fourth degree are life imprisonment and death penalty. Other homicide charges are also based on the same general principles as in other criminal laws.
The penalties for criminal acts also differ depending on the state and the type of criminal activity for which one is charged. Criminal laws in Illinois also differentiate between felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are punishable by sentences of more than a year to several years in prison. Other felonies are punishable by sentences of one year to a year and a half in prison. Possession of drugs is considered a felony, even though it does not involve actual human beings.
A civil case, on the other hand, is lesser offense, with punishments of a fine or imprisonment. A civil case involves only a private party brought into the criminal justice system to defend himself against criminal charges. There is no jury trial in a civil case, and there is no involvement of a judge or jury. Even when there is a possibility that the defendant might be found guilty of a crime, a civil case allows the accused to defend himself against civil charges instead.
Criminal punishment in the United States varies according to each state’s statutes. The punishment for every crime in Illinois also differs, depending on the nature of the crime and its elements. Punishment for first-degree murder, for example, is provided for by the state’s statutory law. Capital punishment is prohibited in Illinois. The state’s three major criminal defense attorneys provide legal representation to hundreds of individuals charged with various crimes.