States for Criminal Law
For most of us, criminal law is not more than “Law and Order” or what we read about in books and newspapers. It is hard for us to comprehend the working of the entire criminal justice system from a distance, and only when we get involved in the system can we get a clear picture of criminal law. The basic purpose of criminal law is to protect citizens against acts which may cause personal harm or damage to property by enforcing rules and regulations. People who break these centuries old rules face sanctions including imprisonment, fines and a range of other penalties varying upon the nature and seriousness of the offense.
Criminal law is defined by federal, state and local legislatures and while the basic rules remain the same, certain aspects such as the definition of a crime, its classification and its punishment may vary in some states and cities. Criminal law differs from civil law in the fact that it deals with offenses that are deemed against society as a whole and carry heavier penalties than civil cases.
Types of Crimes
Criminal law defines and covers a wide range of unlawful activities. Crimes are divided based on the seriousness, and are broadly categorized as infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. Infractions or petty offenses are the least serious type of crimes, and are usually the violation of an administrative or municipal regulation, traffic rule or ordinance. Petty offenses are usually punished with a fine or warning and do not carry a jail sentence. Misdemeanors are slightly more serious and are further divided into three types; petty misdemeanors, ordinary misdemeanors and high misdemeanors. Misdemeanors usually carry a jail sentence as well as fines, and may include petty theft, public intoxication and reckless driving. Felonies are the most serious types of crimes and include arson, burglary, murder and rape. These offenses carry heavy sentences and are punishable with long periods of incarceration and heavy fines.
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Criminal Law Attorney
Being charged with a criminal offense is no laughing matter – it is important that you immediately consult an experienced criminal law attorney. Being charged with a crime can have serious consequences, and if you do not seek professional help you can risk facing jail time, losing your job, having a record and a number of other consequences. An experienced criminal law attorney can help you better understand the charges you are facing and their seriousness. Your attorney will also examine the evidence being used against you and based on that, and a number of other factors, advise you of the best defense. A criminal lawyer on your team will also ensure that your rights are looked after before and during the trial. Moreover, they will also make sure that the judge and jury get to hear your side of the story, a factor which can make or break a case. Last, but not least, an experienced criminal law attorney will be able to negotiation with prosecutors about a plea bargain and may also have a sentence reduced.
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