Jun 27, 2018, 3:33 PM
Basics of criminal law

TEHRAN, Jun. 27 (MNA) – The government passes laws that define federal and state crimes and their respective punishments. This body of law is known as criminal law.

Criminal law also lays out the rights available to the accused and establishes the framework for the criminal process. If someone accuses you of a crime, it is important to know your rights under the law and have a basic understanding of the criminal process.

What Is Criminal Law?

To understand criminal law, it is important to understand what a crime is. The way the law looks at criminal activity, crimes have two basic elements.

These two components are a guilty mind and a guilty act.

A guilty act, is the crime itself. This means someone violates a criminal law established by the government.

A guilty mind, speaks to the accused’s mental state and intent when committing the crime.

Furthermore, each crime has its own definition. For someone to be found guilty of committing a crime, the individuals actions and mindset must fit the crimes definition. For example, if someone is charged with the intentional murder of another person, then for the accused to be found guilty, he or she must have purposely or knowingly caused the death of another human being.

The threshold for proving that someone committed a crime is fairly high.

As the saying goes, “everyone under criminal law is innocent until proven guilty.”

This is true, but in addition to this, someone is only guilty if the prosecution (the party who is trying to prove that someone is guilty of a crime) can convince the court that the accused committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Types of Crimes:

There are two main categories of crimes: felonies and misdemeanors.

A felony offense is considered to be a more serious crime. Usually, states and the federal government consider any crime with a punishment of one year or more in prison to be a felony offense although there are some states that label any crime with a prison sentence as a felony.

Examples of felonies include murder, rape, kidnapping, arson and robbery.

Less serious crimes are called misdemeanors.

Most states consider a misdemeanor offense to be a crime that is punishable by less than one year in prison. Some states consider a misdemeanor to be any crime that is punishable by a fine or light jail time.

Examples of misdemeanors include trespassing, speeding, vandalism and public intoxication

Criminal Law Punishments

If found guilty of committing a crime, the court will issue a sentence during the sentencing phase of a criminal trial. A criminal sentence is the punishment a defendant (the person accused of committing a crime) receives if found guilty.

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News Code 135183


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