Actus Reus = guilty action
Mens Rea= guilty intention
The aims of criminal law involve mainly societal concerns rather than the individual concerns involved in civil law. Criminal law involves punishment of the criminal in order to deter not only the individual found guilty, but also prevent other individuals from committing similar wrongs. "Sometimes to protect society specific wrongdoers are put out of commission by having them imprisoned. Society also tries to rehabilitate the individual criminal. Also, the criminal law serves a substitute for private vengeance.
The English law adopts several classifications of crimes. The older classi-fication was as follows: 1) treasons, 2) felonies, 3) misdemeanours. In 1945 the differences between treasons and misdemeanours were abolished3. Before the Criminal Law Act treasons were technically felonies, but for convenience they were often regarded as a separate category. Some instances of felonies were murder, manslaughter, burglary, housebreaking, larceny, and rape. Less heinous crimes (perjury, conspiracy, fraud, false pretences, libel, riot, assault) were misdemeanours. Article 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 abolished the classification of crimes into felonies and misdemeanours A new classification of crimes into arrestable and non-arrestable was introduced. Arrestable offences are defined by the Criminal Law Act, section 2, as ones for which the sentence is fixed by law or for which a person (not previously convicted) under or by virtue of any enactment must be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of five years. All other crimes got the name of non-arrestable. treet (ordinary) crimes involve offences such as sale of drugs, robbery, and rape. White-collar crimes are nonviolent crimes involving deceit, corruption, or breach of trust. The term includes crimes committed by individuals such as embezzlement and forgery as well as crimes committed on behalf of corporations such as antitrust violations, security fraud, and commercial bribery.
There are several stages of jury trial. First the defendant is brought into the dock and is charged with a crime. The charge read to the defendant is known as the indictment. The defendant pleads Guilty or Not Guilty. If he pleads Not Guilty, the jury is selected and sworn to do justice. Then the trial begins.
The prosecuting counsel opens the case by laying the facts before the jury. He also says what the relevant law is.
Witnesses on one side and then on the other are called. This is the stage known as examination-in-chief. The witnesses for each side may be cross-examined by the other. The aim of cross-examination is to weaken or destroy the earlier evidence. To repair the damage done in cross-examination, the side which called the witness may re-examine him or her. The judge presides over the process deciding whether the evidence offered by each side can be admit-ted or rejected.
After the presentation of evidence by both sides the lawyers make speech-es in which they sum up the proof. The prosecution is the first to make the speech and the defence has the last word.
Before the jurors leave the courtroom and begin discussing the case in the jury-room, they are instructed by the judge. He reminds them of the crime the defendant was charged with. While instructing the jury the judge stresses that in order for the jury to find the defendant guilty, they must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, that he committed the crime as charged, other-wise they must find him not guilty.
World-class resources make Gale a research and education leader.
Our products and services are designed to foster academic excellence and professional scholarship, increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and deliver authoritative information to people whenever and wherever they need it.
Amp Up Your Programs
Download library program guides aligning eBooks & Gale Courses with workshops and learning outcomes.
Integrate Your Resources
eBook Search Tips
See the GVRL platform in action and share tips and tricks to help patrons answer common questions.
View Sample Searches
Promote Your eBooks
Free posters, bookmarks, MARC records and other materials support usage of your collection.
Order Free MaterialsThe Insider Librarian on "Searching GVRL"
In the U.S. legal system, a person may be punished for a crime only if she has been convicted of a crime, that is, found criminally liable. This article discusses what constitutes criminal liability. For a discussion of civil liability, see our article on Civil Liability .Crime
A crime is an offense against the state, as defined by each state's criminal laws. No act is a crime until it is recognized as such by society and written into the states' and federal criminal codes. We may think certain acts have always been crimes or are treated as crimes everywhere, but that is not the case. For example, U.S. law historically did not recognize the rape of a wife by her husband until relatively recently (and some states continue to limit a husband’s liability for nonconsensual sex with his wife. See The History of Marital Rape Laws .)
So, a crime is a matter of definition by the society in which a person commits an act; an act is a crime only if a state or the federal government defines it as one. In most states, crimes are described as either felonies (more serious crimes) or misdemeanors (less serious crimes, such as vandalism).Liability
Liability is the responsibility for a crime and for the penalty society exacts for the crime. Another word for liability is accountability. This explains the cliché that a person who has committed a crime must “pay her debt to society.” A crime is viewed as a harm to the society that has cost it something (not necessarily in dollar terms) and the criminal incurred the debt for that cost. Society accounts for the debt by imposing a penalty upon the criminal, such as prison time.
A person may be found liable for a crime if the prosecution proves that she a) committed the criminal act (such as taking property that was not hers), and b) had the required intent to hold her accountable (such as, for theft, intent to deprive the owner of the property).Intent or “mens rea”
In order to hold someone to account for a crime, the prosecutor must prove that she harbored the required level of criminal intent (called mens rea ). In the example above, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to wrongfully deprive the rightful owner of the property when she took of possession of it.
In a civil case, by contrast, no criminal intent is required. Indeed, many civil actions involve allegations that the defendant acted merely negligently, harming the plaintiff. The reason for the distinction is that civil cases involve disputes between individuals, not acts against the state, and the possible penalty to the defendant is usually strictly monetary.Vicarious or implied liability
Usually, criminal liability rests upon the person who directly committed the act. But, liability for a crime may reach beyond those directly involved in a criminal act. For example, “felony murder” laws make those involved in a felony that results in a death (such as the getaway driver who helps accomplices flee a botched armed robbery ) liable for the death even if they did not “pull the trigger” or otherwise directly cause the victim’s demise.Strict liability
In order to convict a person of a crime, the state must usually prove liability in addition to the fact that an act occurred. In other words, in order to prove theft, the state must prove that the defendant took property belonging to another and that the defendant took the property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. But, by simply engaging in certain conduct, a person may be found criminally liable for some crimes regardless of intent. An example is the crime of statutory rape. A person may be convicted of statutory rape even if the victim consented to the sexual contact (and, in some states, even if the defendant did not know the victim was under age). Thus, the prosecution need not prove that the defendant intended to rape the victim in order to convict the defendant; the very fact of the sexual conduct (the act alone) is sufficient to support a conviction.Responsible but not liable—incapacity to form criminal intent
Criminal liability law also recognizes situations in which the person who personally, directly engaged in the criminal act should not be held liable for the crime. Essentially, even though certain people committed a criminal act, they should not be held to account for it. The most obvious example is that of a person who is not guilty of a crime by reason of mental incapacity. Another group exempted from certain criminal liability is minors. The rationale for exempting such individuals from liability is that these people are unable to form the type of intent required to make it fair to hold them to account for the crime.Possible Penalties
A person found criminally liable, by being convicted of, or pleading guilty to, a crime may be sentenced to serve time in jail or prison, to pay a fine, or both. In most states, the prison term for a felony is one year or more and for misdemeanors less than one year. In addition (or, possibly, in the alternative), the sentencing judge may order the person convicted to undergo drug or alcohol treatment, anger management or other counseling, and/or to abide by terms of probation (such as drug testing). A person convicted of certain sex crimes may also be required to register as a sex offender and abide by other terms upon release, such as periodic reporting to local authorities and staying away from schools, playgrounds, and other facilities where children are present.Criminal Liability Depends on the Crime
The law on criminal liability varies depending on the particular crime charged, the jurisdiction in which the person is charged, and other factors specific to the situation (such as the defendant’s age). For questions about what is required to hold someone liable for a certain crime, check the article on that crime and in the state in question on this site.
This classic introduction to criminal law for criminal justice students combines the best features of a casebook and a textbook. Criminal Law covers substantive criminal law and explores its principles, sources, distinctions, and limitations. Definitions and elements of crimes are explained, and defenses to crimes are thoroughly analyzed. A unique strength of Criminal Law is its discussion of the federal criminal code and the specific recognition of the common-law origins of modern law.Key Features
NEW to this Edition:
Students and beginning professionals in the criminal justice field.Table of Contents
1. Defining Crime
Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malagasy Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Vietnamese
Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malagasy Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Vietnamesedefinitions - criminal-law
report a problem
1. the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishment
1. (MeSH ) A branch of law that defines criminal offenses, regulates the apprehension, charging and trial of suspected persons, and fixes the penalties and modes of treatment applicable to convicted offenders.synonyms - criminal-law Criminal law
Public international law deals extensively and increasingly with criminal conduct that is heinous and ghastly enough to affect entire societies and regions. The formative source of modern international criminal law was the Nuremberg trials following the Second World War in which the leaders of Nazism were prosecuted for their part in genocide and atrocities across Europe. The Nuremberg trials marked the beginning of criminal fault for individuals, where individuals acting on behalf of a government can be tried for violations of international law without the benefit of sovereign immunity. In 1998 an International criminal court was established in the Rome Statute.See also International criminal law National criminal law Notes
Explore all your favorite topics in the SlideShare app Get the SlideShare app to Save for Later — even offline
Continue to the mobile site »
Double tap to zoom outCriminal Law Catalog
Share this SlideShare
LinkedIn Corporation © 2016
An elegant and succinct exposition of the criminal law, written without sacrificing erudition but remaining approachable and unintimidating in size, language and price. Clearly illustrates the principles underlying criminal law, thus paving the way for further study and insights into the subject. This book is well set-out and clearly structured, providing a good introduction to the major themes. It is supported throughout with judiciously. devamı<
Legal Textbooks students will inevitably study Criminal Law, and in doing so need to obtain Criminal Law textbooks. But students of Criminal Law often spend far too much money every semester purchasing Criminal Law textbooks. Criminal Law books can be very expensive when you buy new textbooks, while a rented textbook can be half the price or less. For example, a rental copy of either Introduction to American Policing, Introduction to Criminal Justice with Tutorial Simulation Applications CD-ROM and Cyberclass Access License, or Introduction to Criminal Justice can be 75% less than what you might pay in a college bookstore.
Textbook rentals are easy (and even cheaper than buying used textbooks! And there are a number of ways to find the rentals themselves. If you wanted to rent Red Zone: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of the San Francisco Dog Mauling, the best way would be to find the ISBN number (in this case, ISBN9780028009155) from your Criminal Law class guide and search for it on BookRenter.com. Whether you’re studying Criminal Procedure, Evidence, or any other subject within Criminal Law, renting textbooks is the way to go.
Tags: california criminal law concepts 2015 ebook