Criminal law is the prosecution by the government, which is prescribed as a crime. It is the set of rules and regulation which describe that how the people have to behave in the society and what actions are prohibited by the government. The behavior helps in providing the safety of the public and welfare of the society. When any person files the suit against the defendant then he has to prove that defendant is held liable for the act. This is also known as the burden of proof. In a criminal case, the plaintiff has to prove beyond the reasonable doubt that defendant committed this crime. Criminal law is the legislation which is related to crime. It regulates the conduct which is held in the society like threatening, harmful, danger for the society, individual, health, the safety of the individual. It helps in regulating the society. In this legislation, there are various provisions which are provided for making peace in the society and these provisions are followed by the people of the society. If people make crime or not act according to the provisions of the legislation, then people will be punished. Criminal law was established by the British Raj in 1860. In Civil case, the suit has been brought by the suit, but in criminal lawsuit has been initiated by the prosecutor. The person under the civil suit will be held liable for paying the property, money but are not imprisoned. But in the criminal case they are prisoned, fined or sometimes both have to pay by the criminal.
Crime is the act which is an act or omission which is made by the person from violating the laws of the country. There are various common law crimes, but there are various crimes which are made by the local, state and federal governments. The Criminal law is not same in all over the country; it is different from state to state. In the United States, the criminal law is the Model Penal Code, which helps in punishing the criminal and laid down the provision which have to be followed by the people of the country. Crimes cover both types of crimes which are felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the crimes which are serious kind of crime like murder or rape, robbery, etc. These crimes are punishable under the criminal law which have the punishment and also have to pay the fine or both. Punishments will not be less than one year. It depends upon the nature of the criminal offense and in which jurisdiction, this crime is committed by the criminal. Misdemeanors are the crimes which are less serious in nature like petty theft, jaywalking etc. It is considered as a lower level of crime. In most of the states, the criminal is held liable for the punishment which is one year or less than one year. There is no crime if it is not stated under the provision of the criminal law. Each crime is included in the criminal elements. There are various serious crimes in which court passes the order of the capital punishment.
The main objectives of the criminal law are:
- Deterrence: Individual deterrence is for the specific criminal and main aim is to impose the penalty for preventing the criminal behavior. General deterrence has the aim of society at large in which penalty is also imposed on the person who commits the offense and other individual are prohibited from committing the crime.
- Rehabilitation: In this, the main aim is that to change the behavior of the offender. It transforms the offender for the society. Its main objective is to prohibit the offense by convincing him that offenses are wrong for the people and also for the society.
- Retribution: Criminals have to suffer in some way which is most widely seen objectively.
- Incapacitation: In this criminals are kept away from the society for protecting the people of the society from further offense. In this, the death penalty or banishment has been imposed upon the criminal.
- Restoration: In this, the main goal is to repair the injury through the state authority.
All the crimes will be broken up into two elements which is the “mens rea” and “actus rea”. The prosecutor has to prove these two elements of the crime in the judgement. In a civil case, the plaintiff has to prove that defendant is held liable through the “preponderance of the evidence” or more than 50%. Mens rea means that when any crime is committed by the individual should have the mental state. For instance, if any person wants to murder other person, then he must have the intention to commit the crime. There must be intention of the person who commits the crime.
The rights which are available for the defendant are:
- He has right of speedy trial.
- He has right of protection against the double jeopardy.
- He has right of counsel.
- He has right to protect himself from the self-incrimination
Strict liability is that in which there is no mens rea or intention of committing the crime. It is not necessary that all crime should have the intention but there are various crimes which are committed by the individual but they have no intention. For instance, but plaintiff has to show that defendant acts the omission negligence. But generally it is necessary that the crime must have the intention and plaintiff has to prove in the court that crime is committed intentionally.
Murder is the unlawful killing of the human being. In various jurisdictions, murder is divided into various gradations. For instance, in murder the first degree is the intention. Malice is also an element of murder.
In criminal legislation, there are various criminal codes which help in protecting the physical integrity of the individual body.
There are various codes which are related to the property. This property is also protected under the criminal law like trespassing is prohibited if any person trespass the house or land without permission of the owner will be protected under the criminal law provisions.