Examples of criminal law include cases of robbery, battery, battery, and murder cases. Civil law applies to cases of negligence or malpractice, for example. In the United States, there are two bodies of laws whose purpose is to prevent or punish serious violations or to compensate victims of such violations.
Criminal lawdeals with conduct that is or can be interpreted as an offence against the public, society, or the state, even if the immediate victim is an individual.
Examples include murder, assault, robbery, and drunk driving. Civil law deals with behavior that constitutes an injury to a person or other private party, such as a corporation. Examples include defamation (including defamation and slander), breach of contract, negligence resulting in injury or death, and property damage. Criminal law, unlike civil law, is a system of laws that deals with crimes and with the punishment of people who commit crimes.
Therefore, when in a civil case two parties dispute their rights, criminal proceedings involve the government deciding whether to punish a person for an act or an omission. Crimes against a person often carry the harshest penalties. That's why it's important that people accused of committing serious crimes trust their cases only to experienced criminal law attorneys with a history of successful representation. The specific acts that qualify as criminal conduct will depend on the laws of a particular state, as will the denomination of the crime itself in the courts of that jurisdiction.
In criminal proceedings, the government has the burden of proof of establishing every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Crimes are defined in criminal laws, which describe the prohibited conduct, the state of mind or intent required to be guilty, and the range of possible punishments for criminal offenses. Some criminal charges have existed for centuries, such as robbery and perjury, while others have been added over time to reflect changing societal concerns or new technologies. For example, the act of theft requires the criminal to take something (act of guilt) with the intention (guilty mind) of depriving the owner of the object.
The complexities of criminal procedure can make it difficult terrain even for many lawyers. Talk to a criminal law lawyer in your state to learn more about punishments in misdemeanor and felony cases. Because this power is generally reserved to the states, state criminal codes, such as New York Criminal Law, are much more complicated than those in the United States. Whatever the crime, you should consider talking to a lawyer who knows criminal law well to help you decide your next steps.
Congress has also decided to sanction certain conduct, codifying federal criminal law in Title 18 of the United States Constitution. The prosecution formally begins with an indictment before a grand jury or with the filing of a criminal complaint. Prosecutors have some leeway to decide which criminal charges to file or whether to pursue a particular case. When cases that go to trial end in convictions, judges usually follow sentencing guidelines that indicate the importance they should give to relevant factors, such as the defendant's previous criminal convictions (if any), when drafting an appropriate sentence.
One area of criminal law currently receiving much attention is the regulation and prosecution of drug-related crimes related to medical marijuana.