When the average layperson thinks about breaking the law, they by default are thinking about criminal law. However, there is also civil law to consider, which has its own set of characteristics. Here are some of the principle differences between civil and criminal law.
Criminal Law – In criminal law, the government will file the case. In order to prove their case, the burden of proof is always on the government. They must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is guilty and win a unanimous decision from the jury.
Civil Law – Cases are filed by private parties in civil cases and deal with the disputes between people or organizations where compensation is awarded to the plaintiff. While Federal courts require an unanimous verdict, in most civil case the plaintiff only has to prove that the “preponderance” of the evidence favors them. This can also be referred to in simpler terms as “more likely than not.”
This varies from state to state though. In Missouri, the decision of the jury must be 9-3 for the plaintiff to win. But in Federal courts, the plaintiff must get a unanimous verdict.
A defendant in civil litigation will not be incarcerated and certainly never executed. Losing defendant in civil litigation only reimburses the plaintiff for losses caused by the defendant’s behavior. Either party (plaintiff or defendant) can be found at fault.
Criminal Law – The crimes are divided into two basic classes: felonies and misdemeanors. The defendant is found guilty when the jury decides unanimously in favor of the plaintiff. If they are found guilty, the punishment is a fine (paid to the government), imprisonment, or death, in states that allow for the death penalty. The decision is and dry: guilty or not guilty.
Civil Law – There is more flexibility with guilt in a civil case. Both the plaintiff and defendant can be found partially right or partially at fault. Either way, the party found guilty cannot be imprisoned and certainly not put to death. But if they are found guilty, they must pay what’s called punitive damages as determined by the judge.
The Appeals Process
Either party may appeal the decision in a civil case. However, in a criminal case, only the defendant can file an appeal. If the person(s) found guilty want to appeal, they have a limited time to file their appeal.
If you have been accused of committing a crime, you need to defend yourself in order to avoid getting a record, paying fines, or even doing jail time. Though it is possible to represent yourself in court, most people doing so find themselves to be at a disadvantage since they do not know all the ins and outs of criminal law. Therefore, it is helpful to get a lawyer to assist in this process. Consider the reasons to get legal help.
You may do some research on your own about the legal process, especially regarding what you have been charged with. However, hours of research online or in books does not typically make up for a criminal law degree. Therefore, you will still have much less knowledge than the typical lawyer does, which gives you a much lower than average chance of winning your case. Do not risk going to jail or paying huge fines simply due to neglecting to hire an attorney to represent you.
There is bound to be plenty of paperwork and lots of meetings when it comes to your defense, whether you are representing yourself or hiring a lawyer. This means that there will be a lot of work for you to do, and having someone with your best interests at heart can help greatly. You may not fully understand the paperwork you have to do, and you might not remember every deadline or meeting time. Messing up any of these details can result in you losing your case, which can mean jail time, depending on what you are being charged with. An attorney can help you go through paperwork, making sure that it is legally sound first, and can also keep you apprised of deadlines and meetings.
During the process of defending yourself, you will find that there is no one available to help you, as it is the job of the offense to ensure that you are punished, and the job of the judge to try to remain neutral. This means that if you have questions or just need moral support, you will be disappointed since few people are willing to help you. Sometimes, having an attorney well versed in criminal law is worth it just for the answers and moral support, even if the case never makes it to court.
Clearly, there are various reasons to seek help from a lawyer. No matter what you have been accused of, having some legal help is advised. Not only will it help ensure that the outcome is favorable for you, but also that you feel supported and not alone throughout the whole process.
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Criminal justice is a mechanism of legal lawful regulations that determines the conditions on the use of penalties and
various other criminal sanctions against offenders, to be able to safeguard all the sociable and economic business in one particular state.
You will find 3 basic elements for the purpose of determining the overall concept of criminal law:
1. Criminal law is actually a legal legislation. This means that just with the law could be controlled all the matters of the felony legislation;
2. The topics of regulating felony law tend to be 3 questions: criminal offenses, criminal obligation and criminal sanctions. Consequently the definitions of a socially harmful conduct are considered crimes, folks are considered criminally liable, and actions may be enforced for criminals.
3. Protecting function of all the criminal law. Legal law safeguards social- financial organization of the country and is expression of the sociable relations which exist in a particular country.
The first component is actually with formal, and the other two with substantive personality. The oneness of those elements tends to make so called material-formal concept of criminal law.
Specific method of criminal justice protection
Criminal law is particular in the way it does not directly regulate social relations. Safety of the social relationships through criminal law is made solely through utilizing criminal sanctions in the direction of individuals who do not adhere to all the determined public guidelines.
Way of criminal rights protection are the felony measures. These are methods which the society applies by force towards the person who makes the offence. Most often they include witholding or restricting legal rights recognized on foundation of common constitutional along with other legal procedures. Primary criminal sanction is penalty, and in addition the other sanctions tend to be cautionary steps (suspended sentence and judicial admonition), actions of the safety and educative measures. Criminal measures shall be prescribed only legally, and will be declared by the courtroom only in the public consideration.
The role of criminal law in crime reduction.
Criminal offense is actually a occurrence inside the society, that is demonstrated in the performance of socially harmful activities of which criminal sanctions are provided. Therefore, all the law-breaking doesn’t mean an infringement of the public rules of which legal sanctions aren’t provided.
Every society takes actions to fight the criminal activities.These types of measures are basically reduced towards preventive and also repressive.
Preventive steps usually are targeted at extinguishing the particular causes of criminal, as the suppressive affect an offender following the offense is
executed. This particular department is with relative importance, because preventive measures may include aspects of suppression, however main purpose of the suppressive methods is to eliminate i.e. restrict the law-breaking.
Criminal laws consist of prosecution by the government of someone for an action that has been grouped as a crime. Civil cases, to the contrary, involve individuals and organizations seeking to deal with legal disagreements. In a criminal case, the state, through a prosecutor, triggers the suit, while in a civil case the victim brings the suit. Persons convicted of a crime may be imprisoned, ticketed, or both. However, people deemed accountable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money damages, but are not jailed.
A “crime” is any act or failure to act in violation of a public law outlawing or commanding it. Even though there are various common law crimes, nearly all criminal offenses in the United States are implemented by local, state, and federal governing bodies. Criminal laws range significantly from state to state. There is, nonetheless, a Model Penal Code (MPC) which acts as a good beginning position to obtain an understanding of the basic structure of criminal liability.
Criminal offenses include both felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are ordinarily violations punishable by imprisonment of a year or more, while misdemeanors are violations punishable by less than a year. However, no conduct is a crime if it has not been previously confirmed as such either by statute or common law. Recently, the list of Federal criminal offenses dealing with activities stretching out further than state borders or having special impact on federal operations, has developed.
All statutes describing criminal behavior can be broken down into their various elements. Most criminal offenses (with the exception of strict-liability offenses) include two elements: an act, or “actus reus,” and a mental state, or “mens rea”. Prosecutors have got to prove each and every element of the criminal offense to yield a conviction. Additionally, the prosecutor has to persuade the jury or judge “beyond a reasonable doubt” of every fact required to constitute the criminal offense charged. In civil cases, the plaintiff has to show a defendant is at fault only by a “preponderance of the evidence,” or more than 50%.
The heighten burden required in a criminal case reflects the serious consequences of a criminal conviction.
Makers of several crime based shows would portray that law is all about dealing with crimes and criminals. However, the fact of the matter remains that law is far beyond all the blood, gore and murders that such shows might depict. There are several facets to law and these range from civil to laws related to domestic abuse. There are laws related to international trade and even those related to animal rights!
In most countries, a family is supposed to be the most sacred of units that exists within a society. This is exactly why there is a strong need to ensure that it is protected at all times and it comes as no surprise that most countries of the world have a strong Family Law in place. While there are several tenets within the law of each country, most of them look at protecting children and women.
Today, more and more countries are understanding the need to protect the weaker members of the society. This is why there are innumerable laws being created to ensure the same is done. For instance, there are laws against violence against women and children, especially within the confines of a home. Some nations even allow children to go to court, against their parents, should they hit the former or punish them in a manner generally unacceptable in society.
Similarly, there are laws against marital rape, which ensure that no husband can forcibly indulge in intercourse, with his wife. While many might be of the opinion that acts like this should be brought under Criminal Law, as of now, acts like these are under family related laws. There are some countries that even have laws protecting the property and rights of the elderly.
Today, the European Union has become a power to reckon with, but what is most interesting is the fact that EU Law is quite different from the rest of the world. Certain social laws allow parents to take parental leave from office, as and when required. Laws related to labor and trade are somewhat similar to the rest of the world, because at the end of the day, countries of this union have to dabble in international trade! Interestingly, there are also laws against toxic waste in the European Union.
There was once a time, when law was equivalent to being written on stone, but those days are now long gone. In today’s world, laws need to change with the changing times!
The author is an experienced Content writer and publisher for Business Development. Visit us to know more about great knowledge about Contract Law, Family Law and more about EU law .
Criminal law is an area of law that is normally reserved to the states. The federal government pursues its own investigations in cases that are primarily interstate criminal operations and often work with the specific states in large investigations, but the federal government prosecution always reigns supreme in any criminal charge. If the federal government deems that a legal issue is solely a jurisdictional responsibility for the state, then the state case normally is allowed to proceed.
If an investigation is extensive across a significant number of state boundaries the charges are then filed in federal district court in the federal judicial offices nearest to the illegal activity. Federal charges are adjudicated by different sentencing and conviction guidelines and the dispensation of punishment is different in terms of probation and parole. Federal sentencing guidelines normally require at least some level of incarcerated punishment, but this is not always the case. In the event that the defendant has had convictions in the past, the eligibility for probation is significantly compromised. There are situations where judges can exercise judicial latitude when the threat to public safety is low. Rarely are cases totally dismissed.
The majority of all criminal convictions are delivered in state courts, primarily because no one lives “federally.” Though the perpetrators are in the United States, everyone has a local state residence also and the prosecuting police agency determines the court of jurisdiction by location of the criminal incident. There are some situations where actions in a state are deemed legal by state statute, but unlawful by federal law. The most common example of this occurrence is the medical marijuana movement across the nation. The Department of Justice is currently initiating a program of prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have decriminalized marijuana possession based on medical need, claiming sovereignty over state statute by virtue of the federal contraband status of marijuana possession and sale.
Additionally, prosecution conflicts can occur when federal authorities enter into plea agreements with defendants that preclude any state prosecutions at the lower court level. This can be highly problematic for state judicial systems because these cases often include white-collar corporate crimes where the states would also have the standing to sue the defendant in civil court on behalf of victims in their states who were involved, often unbeknownst to the victim until it is too late.
A primary example of this situation is the current plea arrangement being sought in federal court by a number of banks under prosecution by the Securities Exchange Commission. The agreement being sought by the defendants and the SEC would suppress any consequent inferior state prosecutions and eliminate the civil tort standing of the actual victims of the crime. Federal law is sovereign to state law because of state incorporation to the non-governmental guarantees provided in the U. S. Constitution.
Due to road rage cases and mishaps on the road, Canada has called for stringent action on Driving under Influence offenders. More and more drivers moving across the city are charged of Driving under Influence and face criminal offence charges due to the same.
Even though DUI is seen as one of the mildest of all the other criminal offences but in most cases DUI offence lands drivers behind the bars. In any case, DUI is a criminal offence and needs to be avoided at all times by the responsible citizens of Vancouver city.
Driving under Influence has become a common criminal offence made by the negligent drivers in the city and hence, more educational campaigns need to be run to educate the drivers about road sense and the gravity of DUI offence. DUI is like any other criminal offence which can result in heavy fine and even put you behind the bars for it.
There are several criminal defence lawyers in Vancouver who offer legal services in fighting DUI criminal case. In most cases, defence lawyers tend to focus on minimizing the fine limit and imprisonment period. There are very few lawyers who actually plea for your innocence or a second chance.
In case you are trapped in one of such driving under influences charges and you want to plea innocence or want a second chance for good, then choose your Criminal defence lawyer carefully. John Buchanan is a trusted and professional Criminal Lawyer Vancouver serving for over 25 years in this domain. With years of experience backed with plenty of successful stories, John Buchanan offers quality services as a Criminal Defence lawyer in Vancouver BC.
Criminal Lawyer Vancouver
Whether you have been arrested for a felony or only charged with a minor offense, your first step towards freedom is to secure an experienced defense attorney to advise you in your trying time.
Consulting an experienced lawyer immediately after your arrest can make an enormous difference in the outcome of your case. The criminal justice system is too complex to be successfully navigated by someone without legal training. A good criminal lawyer with years of experience defending cases like yours can make these complexities work in your favor.
A good lawyer can help you decide whether to plead guilty or take your case to trial. Initially, you may see pleading guilty as the quickest way to get out of the legal system. This option may appear very attractive when you are confronted by a prosecutor describing the harsh punishments that you could receive if found guilty at trial for a crime that you may believe you have committed. The advice of an experienced attorney is indispensable at this point, because the repercussions of a guilty plea can reach far into the future, saddling you with a permanent criminal record that will make many employers reticent to hire you.
If you decide to plead guilty, a good defense attorney with a professional relationship with the prosecutor handling your case can make the difference between a favorable sentence and a long time behind bars. Your lawyer may even be able to secure a sentence that will eventually be removed from your record, an impossible feat without proper legal representation.
For most defendants, the courtroom is a nerve-wracking place. Not so for the defense attorney, who spends much of his time before a judge and jury. Your lawyer can use his experience in this area to prepare you both for the questions you will be asked and for the emotions that may overwhelm you at trial. Knowing that you have a professional advocate on your side can relieve much of the anxiety and uncertainty that comes from a trial.
At trial, the burden of proving your guilt falls on the prosecution. Even if you know that you have committed a crime, an experienced lawyer can often prevent the prosecution from convincing the jury of your guilt, especially if you have only been charged with a minor crime.
If you are convicted at trial, a defense attorney who is familiar with local sentencing procedures can convince the judge to reduce your sentence or to convert jail time to community service or probation.
The stress of arrest, the complexity of the legal system, and the severe consequences of a criminal record make securing proper legal representation in your criminal case a necessity.
Penal law, which is also known as criminal law, in short pertains to law that deals with crimes and their punishment. Criminal law is responsible for setting and maintaining definitions of crimes, as well as their punishment, which is inherently linked to the perceived impact to the great community and the individuals which make it up.
No moral examination takes place in criminal law practice, and neither does it prevent the ability of the people to commit the crimes it prohibits. This would go against every major constitution in the world as it will intrinsically also limit the people’s freedom. The law of criminal procedure basically consists of the apprehension of an individual or group, laying of the charges, and finally trying those suspected of committing an act deemed inappropriate.
The investigation comes before all this, though, and no case of this nature can be won without solid evidence. This proof must be beyond reasonable doubt, a major ingredient in the salad that is the legal system where it concerns criminals. The accused person or persons must be guilty of two separate things: firstly, the act; it must be proven to a jury that the accused has committed an act set out by society and its leaders as being criminal; second, the person under investigation must have had the intent to commit the crime, which is otherwise known as guilty mind. This malicious intent is the final nail in the coffin for most cases as it is rather difficult to prove, but when it has been demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt, there is little recourse for the defendant.
The above can be discounted for crimes of so-called strict liability, wherein evidence of an ‘actus reus’ is enough.
Criminal law systems do make the distinction between crimes where negligence plays a part, and those where motivation was the only driving factor. This is where things get tricky, and this is why criminal lawyers make big bucks in taking care of their clients. Sometimes the story in the defendant’s mind is not even solid, and it is up to his or her lawyer to make a solid case for redemption.
How does work criminal law?
Our criminal solicitors understand that clients need more than just advice. We invest time in knowing our clients’ circumstances, needs and preferences to deliver informed and practical assistance.
We are committed to providing the highest quality advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In protecting your personal and commercial interests, we can travel anywhere in the country to ensure that the investigation process is conducted properly and fairly.
We have a reputation for leaving no stone unturned and being pro-active in gathering evidence to support your case, with a view to enhancing your chances of obtaining the best possible result.
We have specialist criminal solicitors renowned for having the knowledge and expertise to achieve excellent results in Serious Crime and Complex Fraud cases, whether Civil or Criminal. We are recognised for challenging prosecutions by the Serious Fraud Office, Her Majestys Revenue & Customs, the Department of Work & Pensions, the Department of Trade & Industry, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and other specialist departments within New Scotland Yard.
We will not simply wait for the other side to build a case against you. With all matters from simple road traffic, breach of contract , visa uk cases to murder and the most complicated criminal or civil fraud, we begin to take preventative measures at the outset and assist you at every stage of the proceedings.
Our barristers and Higher Court Advocates work hand in hand with designated teams to ensure the utmost co-operation, discussion and collaboration between your individual case-worker and Court Advocate. We ensure that every avenue is explored during the preparation of your case, that inadmissible evidence is challenged and that all material helpful to your case is properly disclosed.
We enjoy a close working relationship with a network of leading legal experts including forensic accountants, international Lawyers, forensic scientists, medical experts and accident reconstruction experts, who can help us to thoroughly scrutinise the opposite side’s evidence, prevent prosecutions or increase your chances of success.
Without compromising on the quality of our first-class service levels, we will represent you on legal aid or offer you flexible payment structures and some of the most competitive private rates in London.