Category Archives: Law

Georgia Criminal Laws

A crime is anything that is illegal. Common crimes include street fights, drug use, and other such acts. The state government, through the public prosecutor, would file a criminal lawsuit. Criminals would either be fined, incarcerated or sometimes both, depending on the severity of the crime.

“Criminal Law Attorney”

The state of Georgia, like other states, has some common criminal laws. However, the state itself has also established some laws that are to be followed when arresting a person for any form of criminal act. Any act of defiance that might breach the public laws or completely neglect the same can be construed as an act of crime, and the state can file a lawsuit against the individual.

Since criminal laws vary significantly in specific areas, criminals in the state of Georgia would require the services of a local criminal lawyer to help their cases. Hence, it is very important that the lawyer is well acquainted with the current laws that exist in the state at the time of arrest. A criminal lawyer would be able to fight the case in court if the individual is indeed innocent and being charged without undue reason. For guilty parties, getting the fine or incarceration lessened can be done with the help of a good attorney.

Finding a lawyer from a specific area or county in Georgia is a good choice when charged with a crime. They would be able to keep up with the latest updates in the laws of that county or state. Even though an experienced and qualified lawyer is considered a boon, one who is from the same state is better than an experienced lawyer from any other state. A Georgian criminal defense or appeal lawyer would be able to provide excellent advice in all matters relating to legal and criminal procedures that need to be faced when an individual is charged with criminal acts in the state of Georgia.

Available online are many websites belonging to legal companies housing hundreds of qualified and experienced lawyers in the state of Georgia. Also available online are a list of a person’s rights when first arrested, such as keeping silent until a lawyer arrives. Contacting a lawyer at the earliest opportunity is a good option when arrested for a crime. Arranging for bail in a Georgia court is easier with a lawyer around to take care of the deed.

Getting arrested can be a traumatic experience. A criminal lawyer, for both prosecution and defense, would be a necessity, due to the complicated laws and procedures that can be understood only by an attorney. A criminal attorney would be able to take care of all the tasks that are involved in getting bail or being released without any penalty or imprisonment.

A Brief Overview of Criminal Law

Criminal and penal law refers to the same type of law. Punishments under these laws can be severe and unique depending on the offense and the jurisdiction. Imprisonment, execution, parole, probation and fines are the most common forms of punishment. On occasion, the lines between civil and criminal law become blurred.

The first written code of law was produced by the Sumarians. Civil and criminal law were not separated in these early codes.

The potential for serious consequences and for failure to follow the rules makes criminal law unique. If imprisonment is ordered, it can be solitary and span the lifetime of the individual. House arrest is another form of confinement that requires individuals to follow rules set forth by probation or parole department. Money and property can also be taken from those who are convicted.

Five categories of penalties include punishment, retribution, deterrence, incapacitation and restitution. These punishments will vary among jurisdictions..

For crimes that have an effect on entire areas and societies because of their heinous nature, public international law applies. Public International Law began following World War 2 with the Nuremberg Trials. These trials marked the beginning of individuals being held accountable even though they were acting on behalf of their government. They cannot claim sovereign immunity.

Creating a fear of punishment is how most laws are enforced.

Generally, undesirable acts are forbidden by criminal law. Actus reus, or guilty act, requires evidence that a crime was committed by an action, a threat of action or a lack of action. Actus reus requires a physical element. If someone is in charge of caring for someone else, whether by contract, blood relation living together or through an official position then actus reus applies. It also applies to situations that are dangerous as a result of one. ‘s own actions. This is where the Good Samaritan Laws apply.

Some crimes, such as regulatory offenses, require no more. These crimes are called strict liability offenses. Due to the potential severity of consequences, proof of intent must be met. Proof of a guilty mind, or mens rea, is required.

For crimes that require both to be present, actus reus and mens rea must be present at the same time. They cannot occur at different times.

Nullifying actus reus can occur by proving that the harm to a person would have happened anyway. If you run a red light and injury a person, actus reus will not be nullified because their injury was a direct result of your intended action.

Mens rea, or a guilty mind, means that there was intention to violate the law. Under criminal law; intention and motive or not the same. Good intentions do not negate criminal intentions

If a defendant realizes that an act is hazardous but does it anyway, they have met the mens rea requirement. It is known as recklessness. Courts often consider if the individual should have realized the risk or not. Mens rea has been reduced in some areas of criminal law because if the individual should have known the risk, but did not, intent is erased.

The seriousness of an offense can vary due to intent. If an individual has the intent of killing or causing bodily harm that could result in death, it is murder. If someone is killed because of recklessness it could be manslaughter. It does not matter who is actually harmed by the act. If you intend to hit someone but, end up hitting someone else, your intent is then transferred to that person. This is called transferred malice.

Strict liability is a generally used in civil law. It is harm caused by a defendant regardless of intent or mens reas. Not all crimes require specific intent.

Murder is the most often targeted act under criminal law. Some jurisdictions have levels of severity for murder. First degree murder is based on intent and requires malice. Manslaughter is a killing committed in without malice being present. It is often brought about by reasonable provocation, or diminished capacity.. A killing involving reckless can be considered involuntary manslaughter in areas that have that offense.

Settled insanity is a possible defense.

Assault and battery can create criminal liability. Rape is considered a form battery

Trespassing falls under criminal law as does conversion, theft, embezzlement and robbery.

How to Find the Best Criminal Law

Criminal law solicitors can deal with a wide variety of criminal offences such as serious crimes (e.g. murder), drug offences (e.g. possession and supply) and money laundering.

If you are accused of committing a criminal offence it is important to have the support and knowledge to help you through what can be a difficult time. It is therefore important that you find a criminal law solicitor who not only understands the area law of you are charged with but who can also support you through each stage, whether it be a police station interview, appearance in the Youth Court, Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court or at the Court of Appeal.

Choosing the right criminal law solicitor for your case is an important task, as you do not want to be represented by someone who does not fully understand the areas of law you are charged with. You may also need to work closely with the solicitor so you will need to make sure that you can form a professional relationship with them. So to find the right criminal law solicitor for your case you may want to do some research.

First you should find a number of specialist criminal law solicitors firms that are local to you, and a few that are not – your preferred search engine should help you out here. Look through their websites and check that they can help you with the area of law you are charged or being investigated with. You may also want to do some further research by seeing if they’ve been mentioned on any other sites (such as review sites), however you may find that there is not much extra information out there because criminal law is a very private and confidential area of law.

After some research you should have narrowed your list down to a select few firms. The next stage is to give the firm a call and ask to speak to someone who can help with your enquiry. The solicitor or advisor may be dealing with a client or possibly be at court, and therefore unable to speak, so ask if you can arrange a telephone appointment at a more convenient time. This may also be a good time to ask about any costs that are involved, you may be entitled to Legal Aid.

Pick a criminal law solicitor who you feel comfortable talking to, you may have to spend a lot of time with them going through your case details so you need to feel at ease when talking about the case. An experienced and skilled solicitor will also help you feel comfortable in a very tense and stressful environment when it comes to police station interviews or court proceedings.

Tips for You When It Comes to Criminal

Everyone should have some knowledge when it comes to the law, and most especially criminal law. Some people think that because they are law abiding citizens, then there is no longer any need for them to bother knowing anything about how the law works. They couldn’t be more wrong.

If you take on that kind of attitude then how would you turn out, if you or one of your loved ones were accused of a crime? That can be a very traumatizing experience, but you have to be able to handle it or it could be worse. In order for you to handle it, you need to have knowledge of criminal law.

How Knowledge of Criminal Law Helps

You don’t have to be a legal expert, but some knowledge of criminal law can help ensure that you will not have your rights trampled. The most important thing is for you to know what your rights are and what you are required to do under the law. There are certain things that law enforcers cannot compel you to do even if you are already suspected of a crime.

Criminal Law Tips

The following are some tips that you should keep in mind concerning criminal law. You would find this helpful when you or your loved one is accused of doing a criminal act.

· A policeman cannot search you, your car, and your house if you do not give them permission to do so and if they don’t have a warrant to do it. You can refuse to let them search until you get a lawyer. That is within your rights.

· When you get arrested by the police, you are not obligated by the law to talk to them. You can refuse to say anything because that might be used against you when you have to face trial. You can decide to wait until you have an attorney to help you out.

· If you have been convicted for some criminal act in the past then that might be taken against you. This would especially be the case when your previous conviction is for something related to your current case. That would be seen by the court as a sign that you might not be willing to change your ways and so you can be a risk to society.

· Each crime would have a mandatory sentence that would be the minimum for it. This means that when you plead guilty to an accusation, you might have to face time jail time depending on the case. Be sure that you know what that mandatory sentence is.

· There are cases where criminal records can be completely removed from your files. This would be through the process of expungement.

· If you have been accused of conspiring with others to perform a criminal act, then you will get the same sentence as all the other members would be getting.

The Difference Between Criminal Law

There are two comprehensive categories of law used in the United States legal system: civil law and criminal law. Although separate types of cases, some crimes can be both a civil and criminal violation of law. Continue reading to learn the differences between civil and criminal law, as well as, examples of such cases.

Civil Law

Civil law is the area of the American legal system that manages disputes or wrong-doings between private parties. A common example of such cases involve injuries. If someone is wrongfully injured by another person demonstrating negligence or malicious intent, they can ask the courts to decide who is at-fault and if the negligent party should pay remuneration to the injured person. The same goes for family law and divorce cases, disagreements over property ownership, breach of contracts, wrongful terminations, and more.

Anyone found guilty of a civil crime or infraction will not be subjected to jail time, government fines, or capital punishment. Instead, most civil litigations end with a negligent party being order to compensate the injured party for their losses and any additional damages caused by the defendant’s negligence. Recompense is often times paid by the defendant’s insurance provider, but sometimes, they must pay out-of-pocket. If they have no money, assets, or insurance, an injured person may not receive any recompense, even if it is court-ordered.

As for burden of proof, civil cases and criminal cases differ greatly. In civil law, the plaintiff has the burden of proving their damages or the negligent act of the opposing party. Once the plaintiff party reveals their proof of negligence, the defendant also has a burden to disprove the plaintiff’s proof and convince the courts of their innocence. In a civil case, a plaintiff and a defendant must hire and pay for their own attorney, or choose to defend themselves. Only in criminal cases will the state offer a lawyer for free.

Criminal Law

In contrast to civil law, criminal law involves crimes against the state, government, or society in whole, rather than a private party or person. Criminal violations, like felonies and misdemeanors, are subjected to state and federal punishment; therefore, guilty person’s face jail time, governmental fines, and in extreme cases, the death penalty. Although a murder is a crime against a person, the crime itself goes against state and federal law, therefore making it a criminal case, rather than a civil one. These cases go to a jury trial where defendants are prosecuted by the state. In criminal litigation, defendants are allowed to appoint their own attorney, or have one appointed to them by the state if they cannot afford to pay for one themselves.

In criminal law, the burden of proof shifts to a more complex principle. First, it is always up to the state prosecutors to provide evidence in order to prove that a defendant is guilty. All people are innocent until proven guilty, so the defendant has no burden of proving their own innocence at all in a criminal case. There are a few exceptions to this rule, in the case of insanity claims and self-defense claims. The state has the responsibility of proving “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a defendant is guilty of the crime in question. There has to be virtually 100% certainty that a defendant is guilty for a jury to hand down a guilty verdict.

Criminal Law Regulations

Criminal law is a set of regulations that indicate the actions the society disapproves. A criminal wrong differs from civil wrong. Precisely, a criminal wrong denotes an action that inexcusably and unacceptably threatens or causes damage to individuals or the society. Criminal law focuses on protecting society and discourage criminal acts, by imposing punishments on people conducting these actions. It is remarkable that Criminal law regulations in Cyprus reflect to a great extend the main principles and major offenses of the English Common Law.

The Criminal Code (Cap. 154) includes all the main offenses and criminal responsibilities. On the other hand, the Criminal Procedure Law (Cap. 155), regulates all the matters related to criminal proceedings. Precisely, the structure of the Criminal Procedure Law envisions to provide support to all significant provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, the European Convention of Human Rights and other international treaties. This ensures the application of the law in a way that protects the rights of the citizens and at the same time is not preventing the protection of individuals from criminal wrongs and the conferment of justice.

Criminal Responsibility and Proceedings:

Before proceeding with the general criminal responsibility guidelines in Cyprus, it should be clarified that an individual under the age of 10 cannot be held criminally liable for any offense committed. Following the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, every individual charged with an offense is considered as being innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, the prosecution must prove that the accused individual is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. That is to say, the burden of proof falls on the prosecution side. In addition, it should be highlighted that criminal responsibility and/or sanctions are imposed only if there is a clear criminal intention.

Usually, the criminal prosecutions are instituted by the state. According to the Constitution, the Attorney General of the Republic, who is an independent officer of the government, may institute, conduct, take over, continue and discontinue any proceedings for an offense against any person in the Republic of Cyprus. Furthermore, the Police may institute proceedings through the District Divisional Commander of the Police based on the provisions of the Police Law (Cap. 285). These cases tend to have a public element and they are always under the supervision of Attorney General.

Precisely, in Cyprus, criminal justice is enforced by:

  • District Courts
  • Assize Court
  • Supreme Court of Cyprus

There is a wide spectrum of acts that comprise a criminal wrong and are punishable in the Republic of Cyprus, some of them are listed below:

  • Violent crime
  • Assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Theft
  • Drug trafficking and possession
  • Fraud and money laundering
  • Drunk driving and other road traffic offenses

Punishments:

Punishments are defined based on the severity of the crime committed. Some striking examples of punishment are:

  • Fine
  • Suspended sentence
  • Home imprisonment
  • Probation
  • Imprisonment.

The Criminal Law Handbook

“The Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights, Survive the System” by Attorneys Paul Bergman & Sara J. Berman is an impressive 678 page tome of information all about criminal law. The book sets out to assist you with understanding the confusing rules and procedures involved with criminal offences and to teach you how the system works, why police, lawyers, and judges do what they do, and most importantly, what you can do to limit the harm. I feel it accomplishes that goal very well. Most of the book is written in an understandable question-and-answer format to explain the criminal justice system, both inside and outside the courtroom. It goes from initial police questioning through trials to prison and parole.

One must remember that Nolo focuses on making the law accessible to everyone, and the books published by Nolo do an outstanding job of doing just that. Therefore, this book isn’t a criminal law text book as you would find in law school, but a comprehensive guide for the non-lawyer or layperson. For such a guide, it is very good and includes a lot of information.

The twenty-seven chapters are broken down like this:

Chapter One: Talking to the Police. Chapter provides information on police questioning of people who haven’t been taken into custody and questioning of arrestees.

Chapter Two: Search and Seizure. Some of the topics covered here include: search warrants, plain view doctrine, stop and frisk, searches of cars, and warrantless searches.

Chapter Three: Arrest: When It Happens, What It Means. This chapter covers general arrest principles, arrest warrants, warrantless arrests, use of force when making arrests, and citizens’ arrests.

Chapter Four: Eyewitness Identification: Psychology and Procedures. Topics include eyewitness identification procedures, psychology of eyewitness identification, lineups, showups, photo identification, and motions to suppress identification.

Chapter Five: Booking and Bail: Checking In and Out of Jail. The booking process, arranging for bail, and being released on your own recognizance are covered here.

Chapter Six: From Suspect to Defendant. This chapter focuses on crime and criminal cases and charging, grand juries, and diversion.

Chapter Seven: Criminal Defense Lawyers. Do you need a lawyer, court-appointed attorneys, private defense attorneys, and self-representation are covered in this chapter.

Chapter Eight: Understanding the Attorney-Client Relationship in a Criminal Case. Topics include confidentiality, client-centered decision making, lawyer-client communication, among others.

Chapter Nine: A Walk Through Criminal Court. The courthouse, courtroom, courtroom players, and courtroom behavior are explained.

Chapter Ten: Arraignments. Timing and self-representation at arraignments are looked at here.

Chapter Eleven: Developing the Defense Strategy. Just what the chapter title says, the basics of defense strategy.

Chapter Twelve: Crimespeak: Understanding the Language of Criminal Laws. Basics about things such as murder and manslaughter, sexual violence, burglary, robbery, hate crimes, Patriot Act and more.

Chapter Thirteen: Defensespeak: Common Defenses to Criminal Charges. Topics such as partial defenses, self-defense, alibi, and insanity are covered here among others.

Chapter Fourteen: Discovery: Exchanging Information With the Prosecution. Discovery is an important part of any legal or civil case and this chapter provides the basics for the criminal arena.

Chapter Fifteen: Investigating the Facts. Interviews and witnesses are a couple of the things covered here.

Chapter Sixteen: Preliminary Hearings. What they are, what your rights are, and common strategies of both sides are presented here.

Chapter Seventeen: Fundamental Trial Rights of the Defense. Topics covered include: Due Process, Burden of Proof, Right to Remain Silent, Right to Confront Witnesses, Right to Jury Trial, Right to Counsel, and others.

Chapter Eighteen: Basic Evidence Rules in Criminal Trials. There are procedures that must be followed when presenting evidence and this chapter provides guidelines for doing it right.

Chapter Nineteen: Motions and Their Role in Criminal Cases. Learn what they are and what they are for in this chapter.

Chapter Twenty: Plea Bargains: How Most Criminal Cases End. Basics on plea bargains, the pros and cons, the process, and the strategy of negotiating plea bargains are covered in this chapter.

Chapter Twenty-one: The Trial Process. Good chapter on the various aspects of a trial from choosing a judge or jury to deliberations and verdict.

Chapter Twenty-two: Sentencing: How the Court Punishes Convicted Defendants. The basics of sentencing procedures and options and a bit about the death penalty.

Chapter Twenty-three. Appeals: Seeking Review by a Higher Court. Losing at trial does not necessarily mean it is over. This chapter covers appeals and writs.

Chapter Twenty-four: How the Criminal Justice System Works: A Walk Through Two Drunk Driving Cases. Examples using drunk driving.

Chapter Twenty-five: Juvenile Courts and Procedures. Special chapter explaining the how things work in Juvenile Courts.

Chapter Twenty-six: Prisoners’ Rules. Information covering prisons and prisoners’ rights, legal resources, parole and pardons.

Chapter Twenty-seven. Looking Up the Law. What and where to research, including a glossary.

Again, this book is a large tome of information. It is organized well and has many side-bars and examples. If you have a question regarding criminal law, more than likely this book will have an answer. The authors do point out that the law varies from state to state, and I’d recommend that besides this book, anyone dealing with the criminal system on their own look to the statutes in the jurisdiction they are in to ensure they have the law that is applicable to their case. That’s why I really like that the final chapter provides guidance in this area. The authors also note that the book is not intended as a detailed guide to self-representation. It is a thorough overview of the entire system, but it’s not everything, and that’s because you can’t put everything regarding our complex system in one book.

This is an excellent tour of the criminal justice system and one of the best resources around for the layperson who wants or needs to navigate the complex maze of rules and laws that make up our system. I recommend it highly for anyone who wants to know all about criminal law.

Criminal Law Attorneys Wish More People

1.) Do not retain a criminal law attorney or DUI defense lawyer based upon the attorney’s office location. For many hardworking people, it is simply easier to go to a local criminal law attorney blocks away to make legal decisions that could land you or a loved one in jail and/or affect one’s livelihood forever. While a general practice attorney is often acceptable for non specialty areas such as the drafting of wills, contacts, etc., criminal and drunk driving defense has become a specialized field requiring unique training and attention. For example, most police departments have officers who are trained to do nothing other than pursue drunk driving arrests or drug crimes. As a result, it is often critical that your attorney be one that has devoted himself or herself exclusively to the practice of criminal law or DUI defense with more training in the field than the officer who has arrested you. In an age where most all top criminal or DUI attorneys are accessible for free phone or computer consultations, there is simply no reason not to consult with as many capable criminal defense law attorneys as possible before making the all important decision of who will defend you in a criminal court of law.

2.) Be wary of a fee arrangement that requires you to pay a criminal law attorney or drunk driving attorney base upon an hourly rate. It is often the practice of top criminal attorneys to have a client pay an initial retainer fee for their criminal defense, followed by a detailed fee for services performed beyond the initial retainer fee, or down payment. While not a problem limited to criminal law attorneys or DUI lawyers, a professional paid by the hour has a financial interest in prolonging services for their financial benefit. Within the context of a criminal prosecution, this financial arrangement can too often prove to be a lose situation for an uniformed client. This is so because not only is a client faced with the prospect of limitless and often frivolous professional fees, but also the potential of creating unnecessary conflict between defense counsel and a prosecutor who will often attribute delays in settlement to a client who is punished for the needless actions of a criminal arrest attorney with financial thoughts on his mind not always consistent with an effective criminal defense.

3.) Never speak to law enforcement without a criminal law attorney and be especially proactive in retaining a criminal law or DUI defense lawyer at your earliest opportunity

One who has been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor crime or accused of a criminal offense must always be aware that an arresting officer or detective is not your friend. No matter the kindness and sympathy one in law enforcement may extend to you, the fact that you are a professional, veteran of the armed forces or contributor to the sheriff’s department is not going to legally aid you in providing a legal defense. Only a rookie or inexperienced detective or police officer will yell and scream at one being investigated for a crime. Rather, an effective law enforcement officer is usually trained in the art of gaining a suspect’s trust and in turn the potential for an incriminating statement without the assistance of a capable criminal defense law attorney to protect you. Do not let the truth get in the way of reality. It is an officer’s job to thoroughly scrutinize a statement given in good faith for any possible discrepancies in an effort to incriminate one subjected to a criminal investigation. Once that statement, no matter how innocently intended or misinterpreted has been made, the job of your criminal law attorney has been made infinitely more difficult. If you or a loved one is the target of a criminal investigation and have not given a statement without the presence of your criminal attorney, consider yourself fortunate. You have the benefit of securing the services of a top criminal defense lawyer prior to charging decisions and settlement options being made within a prosecutor’s office.

Reasons For Criminal Law Enforcement

Criminal law, also known as penal law is a term used to refer to different rule bodies in distinct jurisdictions. One common characteristic of these rule bodies is the propensity for distinct and serious judgments as punishments for failing to comply. Criminal punishment which depends on the jurisdiction and offense committed can include the loss of one’s liberty, fines, government supervision such as probation or parole and even execution. An attorney seeks to defend the accused individuals against such eventualities. There are various archetypal crimes such as murder. It is worth noting the forbidden acts are not completely consistent between distinct criminal codes. However, even in specific codes, the lines may be unclear. This is because civil refractions are also likely to give rise to criminal outcomes. In most instances, it is the government that enforces criminal law. This is unlike civil law which could be implemented by private parties.

Punishments of Criminal Law Violation

Criminal law is different for two reasons; the failure to put up with its regulations and the uniquely severe possible outcomes. Each offense is comprised of what could be imposed in various jurisdictions for some of the most severe offenses. Physical outcomes could be imposed. However, these outcomes are forbidden in most parts of the universe. Depending on one’s jurisdiction, individuals could be in a range of conditions. Incarceration could be solitary. The confinement period

could be as short as one day and as long as one’s entire life. Supervision by the government including house arrests, confiscating property and money from individuals convicted of offenses could be imposed. What is more, offenders could be obligated to conform to specialized rules as part of the probation and parole regimen.

By punishment, there are five widely accepted objectives in the enforcement of criminal law that an attorney seeks to defend offenders against. These are retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, restitution and rehabilitation. However, it is worth noting that when it comes to the value placed on each one of them, jurisdictions differ.

Objectives of Criminal Law Enforcement

Retribution – Offenders must undergo some kind of suffering. This is the objective most commonly seen. Offenders are considered to not only have caused unfair detriment on others but also to have taken unacceptable upper-hand. Accordingly, an attorney with the help of criminal law is said to put the offenders in an unpleasant disadvantage hence balancing out the scales. Individuals surrender to law so as to gain the right not to be killed. If individuals flout the laws, they give up the rights given to them by the laws. Therefore, individuals who kill may also be killed. One related hypotheses contains the correcting the balance idea.

Deterrence – Individual deterrence is intended at specific criminals.

The intention here is to impose adequate punishment so as to discourage offenders from criminal behavior. General deterrence is intended for the general public. By imposing penalties on offenders, other people are put off from committing the same crimes.

Incapacitation – This is intended to keep offenders away from the public so as to protect society from their delinquency. Today, courts of law with the help of attorneys use prison sentences to attain this.

Criminal Law Information

According to criminal law, crimes are offences against the social order. In common law jurisdictions, there is a legal fiction that crimes disturb the peace of the sovereign. Government officials, as agents of the sovereign, are responsible for the prosecution of offenders. Hence, the criminal law “plaintiff” is the sovereign, which in practical terms translates into the monarch or the people.

“Crime Laws and Their”

The major objective of criminal law is deterrence and punishment, while that of civil law is individual compensation. Criminal offences consist of two distinct elements; the physical act (the actus reus, guilty act) and the requisite mental state with which the act is done (the mens rea, guilty mind). For example, in murder the ‘actus reus is the unlawful killing of a person, while the ‘mens rea is malice aforethought (the intention to kill or cause grievous injury). The criminal law also details the defenses that defendants may bring to lessen or negate their liability (criminal responsibility) and specifies the punishment which may be inflicted. Criminal law neither requires a victim, nor a victim’s consent, to prosecute an offender. Furthermore, a criminal prosecution can occur over the objections of the victim and the consent of the victim is not a defense in most crimes.

Criminal law in most jurisdictions both in the common and civil law traditions is divided into two fields:

* Criminal procedure regulates the process for addressing violations of criminal law

* Substantive criminal law details the definition of, and punishments for, various crimes.

Criminal law distinguishes crimes from civil wrongs such as tort or breach of contract. Criminal law has been seen as a system of regulating the behavior of individuals and groups in relation to societal norms at large whereas civil law is aimed primarily at the relationship between private individuals and their rights and obligations under the law. Although many ancient legal systems did not clearly define a distinction between criminal and civil law, in England there was little difference until the codification of criminal law occurred in the late nineteenth century. In most U.S. law schools, the basic course in criminal law is based upon the English common criminal law of 1750 (with some minor American modifications like the clarification of mens rea in the Model Penal Code).