Learn About Criminal Law

Criminal law serves to prohibit certain conduct which society has judged to be inherently wrong, or which is so dangerous that it benefits society as a whole to prohibit it.

When a person is accused of a crime, criminal charges are brought against them by a prosecutor. The prosecutor is a lawyer who works for the state or federal government, and whose job it is to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Unlike the civil justice system, which serves to compensate victims of wrongdoing for actual losses they have suffered, the criminal justice system serves to punish the wrongdoer on behalf of society, with less of a focus on compensating individual victims. This is done with the aim of providing moral and emotional retribution for the victims (to prevent vigilantism) and deterring future crime. Over the course of the 20th Century, the main goal of criminal law shifted more towards rehabilitation of criminals, either as a supplement to, or replacement for, punishment.

There are many different types of crimes, and most of them involve direct and deliberate harm to a person or their property. The following is a discussion of some of the most important issues in criminal law.

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Regardless of the criminal issue you're facing, being charged with a crime, or faced with that possibility, is always a serious matter. For that reason, a good criminal defense attorney should be one of the first people you call if such an unfortunate scenario ever comes to pass.