What is Criminal Law?
Criminal law is a branch of law that defines criminal acts and controls trepidation. Moreover, it also calls for the trials of the suspected offender and charges them with various types of punishment as per the criminal law including, the death penalty and life imprisonment among others.
Types of Criminal Law
The law has divided criminal offenses into five main categories including personal crime, property crime, inchoate crime, statutory crime, and financial crime.
Personal crimes are those offenses that have caused physical or mental damage to another person. It is further distributed into two types of criminal law; homicide and violent crimes.
Homicide is when someone causes severe physical damage that can be life-threatening for another person or an act of violence that causes death in severe cases. A few examples of homicide can be first-degree murder, manslaughter, etc.
On the other hand, violent crimes are those crimes that cause severe damage to other person’s mental and physical health but don’t cause death. These crimes include assault and battery, arson, child abuse, domestic abuse, kidnapping, rape, statutory rape, etc.
As the name suggests, property crime occurs when someone damages or destroys someone else’s property. There are high-level offenses and low-level offenses. High-level offenses include felonies like robbery with weapons, arson, etc. Whereas, low-level crimes include vandalism, shoplifting, etc. However, in cases like burglary, the offender is seen as an unlawful intruder with the intent of a crime. Moreover, robbery is considered a crime only if the victim was present during the act.
Apart from that, most of the property offenses have certain degrees when it comes to punishing the offender. Many evaluations are made, for example, in case of theft, it is evaluated that did the offenders had any weapon with them or did they cause harm to the victims, etc.
Inchoate crimes are also referred as incomplete crimes. These are not actual crimes, but these are the actions that a person takes before committing a crime or participates in an offense. The reason these acts are not directly considered as a crime, but are still illegal is that it leads to a crime. Moreover, inchoate crimes are further divided into three categories: attempt, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting.
An attempted crime is when a person plans to commit an offence, but is unsuccessful in doing so. However, the evaluation of the attempt of a crime is made on three factors. First, if the person had an intent to commit the crime. Secondly, if the attempt has led to an intended crime and lastly if one had made an attempt, but was unable to complete it.
Conspiracy is when two individuals plans to commit the crime. In many states, a conspiracy crime is only punished if the conspiracy has led to the furtherance of crime. Moreover, the offender can be charged for conspiracy and the crime both, because both of these are seen as two different offenses in the court of law.
Aiding and abetting is when someone hires anyone else to attempt the crime on their behalf. Moreover, a person can only be proven guilty, if one was assisting in the commission of the crime. However, the person who is present where a crime is being committed is not charged in aiding and abetting, but the person is considered as an accomplice to the criminal.
Statutory crimes are those crimes that are prohibited by the state. There are three major categories to it: alcohol crimes, drug crimes, and traffic offenses.
Alcohol crimes can be of various types and the nature of offense is usually determined based on the circumstances. For example, drunk driving, open container violations, children under legal age possessing alcohol, selling and supplying alcohol to minors, and more.
Drug-related crimes include any involvement in the consumption, distribution, and manufacturing of drugs. However, in some states where Marijuana is legalized as a medical drug gets exemption from drug-related crimes.
Traffic violations are also considered crimes. It includes driving without a license, driving on an expired license, driving recklessly, vehicular assault, hit and run case, etc. Moreover, if a death occurs due to a traffic offense, one can be charged with homicide as well.
Financial crimes involve fraud, blackmailing, embezzlement, money laundering, tax evasion, and cybercrime. Anyone can commit these white-collar crimes; corporate officers are not the only offenders.
Moreover, deceiving someone for financial gain is also considered a financial crime or white-collar crime.
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