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Facts about Criminal Law

Criminal laws are also called penal laws. The body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and legal punishment of legal offenses is called criminal law. Punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation are the four theories of criminal justice system. Justice and peaceable social order is attained after all the imposition of sanctions about the crime. The objective of criminal law is to exercise social control. It aims at discouraging behavior that is unfavorable to the wellbeing of the society as well as behavior that test the government’s authority and legitimacy. Criminal laws help in restraining behavior of the people and hence they are created in a way to act as restraints.

Criminal proceedings take place in a series of stages after criminal charges are filed. It is the police who respond and take action to any citizen’s complaint lodged. The police may also feel suspicious, and in such case, they investigate, take down statements from various essential witnesses and based on the findings make a report. They can arrest people during the investigation. They may alternatively complete the report and submit it to the prosecutor’s office for evaluation. It is the prosecutor who will be authorized whether or not criminal charges will be filed against any suspect mentioned in the police report. The process for filing criminal offenses may be different amongst jurisdictions.

Some jurisdictions provide higher discretionary powers to the state agencies in charging defendants with certain crimes. In regard to the prosecutor, other jurisdictions are there to provide them with higher powers. The person concerned or the defendant may be arrested for a civil infraction, for a misdemeanor, or even for a felony after being stopped by the police. Although criminal charges are usually chosen solely by the prosecutor’s office, the police might be arresting a person while also recommending a certain charge.

The process of criminal justice begins with an alleged crime. Allegation that the complainant makes is what the police investigation on. The police in this criminal law cases should work as representatives of the government. A formal charging report is filed in a court in the right jurisdiction, or even a grand jury reports a complaint or an allegation. A prosecuting attorney represents the interests of the state. The benefits of the defendant are represented by the defense attorney or by the defendant acting as his or her attorney. Irrespective of local laws that might be followed by mandatory or discretionary appeals to higher courts, the procedure ends with a bench trial. The criminal attorney ensures that you understand your rights with the police, your rights in the courtroom and your rights upon sentence.

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