Criminal Law is the name given to the branch of law that governs an individual's relationship to the state. It includes the definitions of criminal offenses, which are usually established by Congress or state legislatures. The term "criminal law" also encompasses the rights of an accused and the criminal process, including arrest, pleas, discovery, pretrial hearings, trials, evidence, motions, and posttrial remedies. The main purpose of the criminal law is to set forth the punishment for criminal offenses. In order to prove any crime, no matter how serious, the prosecutor must prove that the accused committed a guilty act with a guilty mind beyond a reasonable doubt.
Crimes are classified as misdemeanors--less serious offenses that are normally punishable by a fine like some traffic violations, petty theft, or possession of a small amount of marijuana, and felonies--more serious offenses that warrant imprisonment of one or more years, such as rape, theft, assault with intent, assault with a deadly weapon, or homicide/murder.
- Bail Applications
- All areas of criminal law