Legal Guide

A fair guide to Criminal law and Criminal offenses

To live in a peaceful society, it must be guided by the law created by a state. Law is a system of principles and regulations created and enforced through social or governmental institutions that sought to regulate behavior by binding all people living in a community. The general purpose of the law is to bring harmony in the society so it protects our general safety, and secures all the basic rights of citizens against abuses by other people, and by the lawmakers themselves. So to live in a civil society, we must have some rules to follow for a state to be stable. Our social, political, and economic life is dependent on law and is completely guided by it. So, in any society, the law informs everyday life in a wide variety of ways.

Criminal law

As it suggests that it is related to some crime - is the system of laws that propose punishments to the individuals who commit a crime. The purpose of such criminal laws is to serve society so that they can lead a safe and sound life.

Elements of a Crime

An individual commits a “crime” if he or she acts in such a way that fulfills every element of an offense that is unfavorable. The statute that establishes the offense also establishes the elements of that offense. So generally, each crime consists of three main components: number one, the act or conduct of offense; number two, the individual’s mental state at the moment of the crime; and number three, the proximate causation between the act and the effect. In a criminal trial, the government has to prove to establish every component of a crime beyond a reasonable ambiguity.

What does criminal law comprise?

Crimes are differentiated from other acts which may give rise to legal proceedings by the prospect of punishment. And this prospect separates criminal law from civil law. The acceptable limit at which the criminal law intercede is when the conduct under discussion has a sufficiently serious social impact to justify the state, rather than the individual affected, taking on the case of the victim party. Following are the purposes of the criminal law are:

  1. to prohibit the act that inflicts or threatens or causes pain to any individual or public or social interests.
  2. to subject to persons who are responsible for the society's stability. the conduct of such persons implies that they are more likely disposed to commit crimes.
  3. to give a complete warning of the nature of the conduct declared to be a crime
  4. to differentiate between serious and minor offenses.

Classifying the criminals

When numerous parties are engaged, the typical first step is to classify the participants according to the categories mentioned as:

  1. Principal in the first degree: These are the participants who commit the act of crime (i.e. the perpetrator). Perpetrators are not accomplices because they are the performer of the act. 
  2. Principal in the second degree: These include the participants who aided, counseled, ordered, or encouraged the perpetrator in the actual act of a crime. So, such participants are considered as an accomplice though they were not present at the moment of perpetration they were somehow involved in the plotting of the act.
  3. Accessory: These include the criminals who aided, plotted, ordered, or encouraged the perpetrator to commit the crime, but they are not present at the time of perpetration. An accessory before the fact is also considered an accomplice. Accessory after the fact– these include those who help an individual, knowing the individual to be a perpetrator, to hinder the individual’s identity, the individual’s detention, arrest, or punishment meaning to secure them from getting caught. Such Accessories are accused of a distinct act of crime, so this section does not concern them.

Types of Criminal Law & Offenses

Criminal law is divided into three main types. These types are:

Felony

Felony offenses are considered highly severe criminal offenses within common-law countries. The punishments of this crime variate between a sentence to death or imprisonment for a longer period i.e more than one year. Some felony offenses include murder, manslaughter, arson, burglary, assault, domestic violence, tax evasion, fraud,  kidnapping, harassment, forgery, obstruction of justice, and more.

Misdemeanor 

Misdemeanor offenses are considered to be less serious crimes that are punishable to a lesser degree than felony offenses. The punishment for misdemeanor offenses ranges from fines and loss of privileges for nearly a year in prison. Some Misdemeanor offenses include public property destruction, reckless driving, petty theft, minor assault, invading, vandalism, and more.

Infractions

Infraction offenses include minor offenses such as traffic violations. Because these are the crimes that result in minor punishments i.e only in fines and not imprisonment, as they are not technically crimes. It just involves some interaction with the criminal process like blocking the traffic and certain criminal laws and procedures come in the way.

Types of criminal offenses:

The crime rate that is increasing with every coming day is greatly in need of such laws to be practiced. Any prevailing injustice can be controlled by seeking refuge under different law firms. These law firms offer the victims to seek justice and make the criminals pay for their crimes. There are many online firms like Fairfax Criminal Lawyer that is the top-rated criminal defense law firm that offers experienced and professional lawyers. These firm deals with vast ranges of crimes and are there to make the criminals reflect foe their offenses. The types of criminal offenses seem to be countless but generally, they can be put under five main categories.

  • Personal Crimes:

Personal crimes are crimes against an individual. These crimes are those criminal offenses that result in any physical or mental harm to another individual. They can be classified into two main categories: first, homicide, and second, other violent crimes. When there is the case that the act of crime is so severe that it causes death, then a defendant may be charged with homicide. The several types of homicide include, for example, first-degree murder manslaughter, or any transport homicide. Similarly, the other violent crimes, which are also very harsh include kidnapping, rape, child abuse, domestic abuse.

  • Property Crimes 

Crimes against property are those criminal offenses that mainly involve the interference of another's property. Property crimes may also be followed by some harm to another, they lead to the destitution of the use of a property. Many property crimes that are common include, theft crimes, which comprises burglary,  robberyauto theft, and shoplifting.                                                                                                                            

  • Inchoate Crimes

 Inchoate crimes or rudimentary crimes are intended criminal acts that were never completed or only assisted in the commission of another prevailing crime. Inchoate crimes include only those crimes that were initiated but not completed. Such crimes require more than an individual simply intending or hoping to commit a crime. It requires the individual must take a step towards the completion of the crime to be found guilty. Inchoate offenses include crimes that involve abetting and conspiracy. The punishments for these crimes vary. In some cases, inchoate crimes can be punished similarly just like any other underlying crime would be punished, while in other cases, the punishment might not be that much severe depending upon the nature of the crime.

  • Statutory Crimes

Statutory Crimes are crimes interdicted by a legislative body. Generally, these statutes discourage these significant crimes related to alcohol, drugs, traffic, or other societal or social problems. In addition, these crimes also include those crimes which are prohibited by statute. Alcohol-related crimes include a variety of offenses, such as, driving under influence (DUI), minor possession of alcohol, supplying alcohol to minors, refusing to perform a sobriety test, and more. Drug crimes include any engagement in the creation or distribution of drugs, including drug possessiondrug manufacturing, and drug traffickingTraffic crimes include all those crimes that may arise while an individual is driving a vehicle on public roadways I.e DUI/OWI/DWI as it involves both alcohol and the use of a vehicle. Additional traffic offenses include driving without a licensehit-and-run accidentsharsh driving, and other vehicular assault cases. 

  • Financial Crimes 

Crimes related to finance are also considered white-collar crimes because of the corporate officers who perpetrated them. These money-related crimes often include embezzlement, money laundering, blackmail, tax evasion,  cybercrime. So any crime involving deception or fraud for financial gain is included in this category of a criminal offense.

Conclusion

So, in conclusion, the law is the basic need of any society and it is required that it should be abided by by everyone including lawmakers. Criminal law serves to regulate human interaction and moral beliefs. Criminal law offers means by which the state can prosecute the criminal if the harm is criminalized. We know that if the state has no laws then it would be more like a jungle than a princely state. So laws in this case criminal laws play a really important part in the stability and integrity of a place.


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