Criminal Law Information

According to criminal law, crimes are offences against the social order. In common law jurisdictions, there is a legal fiction that crimes disturb the peace of the sovereign. Government officials, as agents of the sovereign, are responsible for the prosecution of offenders. Hence, the criminal law “plaintiff” is the sovereign, which in practical terms translates into the monarch or the people.

The major objective of criminal law is deterrence and punishment, while that of civil law is individual compensation. Criminal offences consist of two distinct elements; the physical act (the actus reus, guilty act) and the requisite mental state with which the act is done (the mens rea, guilty mind). For example, in murder the ‘actus reus is the unlawful killing of a person, while the ‘mens rea is malice aforethought (the intention to kill or cause grievous injury). The criminal law also details the defenses that defendants may bring to lessen or negate their liability (criminal responsibility) and specifies the punishment which may be inflicted. Criminal law neither requires a victim, nor a victim’s consent, to prosecute an offender. Furthermore, a criminal prosecution can occur over the objections of the victim and the consent of the victim is not a defense in most crimes.

Criminal law in most jurisdictions both in the common and civil law traditions is divided into two fields:

* Criminal procedure regulates the process for addressing violations of criminal law

* Substantive criminal law details the definition of, and punishments for, various crimes.

Criminal law distinguishes crimes from civil wrongs such as tort or breach of contract. Criminal law has been seen as a system of regulating the behavior of individuals and groups in relation to societal norms at large whereas civil law is aimed primarily at the relationship between private individuals and their rights and obligations under the law. Although many ancient legal systems did not clearly define a distinction between criminal and civil law, in England there was little difference until the codification of criminal law occurred in the late nineteenth century. In most U.S. law schools, the basic course in criminal law is based upon the English common criminal law of 1750 (with some minor American modifications like the clarification of mens rea in the Model Penal Code).

Types of criminal law are: Arrests and Searches, Drug Crimes, Juvenile Law, Drunk Driving / DUI / DWI , Parole, Probation, Pardons, Violent Crimes, White Collar Crimes and Military Law.

Criminal Law, please visit Free Legal Information.

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How to Find the Best Criminal Law Solicitor For Your Case

Criminal law solicitors can deal with a wide variety of criminal offences such as serious crimes (e.g. murder), drug offences (e.g. possession and supply) and money laundering.

If you are accused of committing a criminal offence it is important to have the support and knowledge to help you through what can be a difficult time. It is therefore important that you find a criminal law solicitor who not only understands the area law of you are charged with but who can also support you through each stage, whether it be a police station interview, appearance in the Youth Court, Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court or at the Court of Appeal.

Choosing the right criminal law solicitor for your case is an important task, as you do not want to be represented by someone who does not fully understand the areas of law you are charged with. You may also need to work closely with the solicitor so you will need to make sure that you can form a professional relationship with them. So to find the right criminal law solicitor for your case you may want to do some research.

First you should find a number of specialist criminal law solicitors firms that are local to you, and a few that are not – your preferred search engine should help you out here. Look through their websites and check that they can help you with the area of law you are charged or being investigated with. You may also want to do some further research by seeing if they’ve been mentioned on any other sites (such as review sites), however you may find that there is not much extra information out there because criminal law is a very private and confidential area of law.

After some research you should have narrowed your list down to a select few firms. The next stage is to give the firm a call and ask to speak to someone who can help with your enquiry. The solicitor or advisor may be dealing with a client or possibly be at court, and therefore unable to speak, so ask if you can arrange a telephone appointment at a more convenient time. This may also be a good time to ask about any costs that are involved, you may be entitled to Legal Aid.

Pick a criminal law solicitor who you feel comfortable talking to, you may have to spend a lot of time with them going through your case details so you need to feel at ease when talking about the case. An experienced and skilled solicitor will also help you feel comfortable in a very tense and stressful environment when it comes to police station interviews or court proceedings.

If you do find yourself facing criminal proceedings, it is not recommended that you handle the case on your own. Many issues can arise during the proceedings which only an experienced criminal law solicitor can deal with. There are many criminal law firms that can help you and make sure you get the best possible chance of defending yourself against the accusations you may face.

MJP solicitors are an experienced criminal law solicitors firm who can help you out if you are facing a criminal accusation. Speak to one of our solicitors today.

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The “Truths” Top Criminal Law Attorneys Wish More People Were Aware Of

1.) Do not retain a criminal law attorney or DUI defense lawyer based upon the attorney’s office location. For many hardworking people, it is simply easier to go to a local criminal law attorney blocks away to make legal decisions that could land you or a loved one in jail and/or affect one’s livelihood forever. While a general practice attorney is often acceptable for non specialty areas such as the drafting of wills, contacts, etc., criminal and drunk driving defense has become a specialized field requiring unique training and attention. For example, most police departments have officers who are trained to do nothing other than pursue drunk driving arrests or drug crimes. As a result, it is often critical that your attorney be one that has devoted himself or herself exclusively to the practice of criminal law or DUI defense with more training in the field than the officer who has arrested you. In an age where most all top criminal or DUI attorneys are accessible for free phone or computer consultations, there is simply no reason not to consult with as many capable criminal defense law attorneys as possible before making the all important decision of who will defend you in a criminal court of law.

2.) Be wary of a fee arrangement that requires you to pay a criminal law attorney or drunk driving attorney base upon an hourly rate. It is often the practice of top criminal attorneys to have a client pay an initial retainer fee for their criminal defense, followed by a detailed fee for services performed beyond the initial retainer fee, or down payment. While not a problem limited to criminal law attorneys or DUI lawyers, a professional paid by the hour has a financial interest in prolonging services for their financial benefit. Within the context of a criminal prosecution, this financial arrangement can too often prove to be a lose situation for an uniformed client. This is so because not only is a client faced with the prospect of limitless and often frivolous professional fees, but also the potential of creating unnecessary conflict between defense counsel and a prosecutor who will often attribute delays in settlement to a client who is punished for the needless actions of a criminal arrest attorney with financial thoughts on his mind not always consistent with an effective criminal defense.

3.) Never speak to law enforcement without a criminal law attorney and be especially proactive in retaining a criminal law or DUI defense lawyer at your earliest opportunity

One who has been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor crime or accused of a criminal offense must always be aware that an arresting officer or detective is not your friend. No matter the kindness and sympathy one in law enforcement may extend to you, the fact that you are a professional, veteran of the armed forces or contributor to the sheriff’s department is not going to legally aid you in providing a legal defense. Only a rookie or inexperienced detective or police officer will yell and scream at one being investigated for a crime. Rather, an effective law enforcement officer is usually trained in the art of gaining a suspect’s trust and in turn the potential for an incriminating statement without the assistance of a capable criminal defense law attorney to protect you. Do not let the truth get in the way of reality. It is an officer’s job to thoroughly scrutinize a statement given in good faith for any possible discrepancies in an effort to incriminate one subjected to a criminal investigation. Once that statement, no matter how innocently intended or misinterpreted has been made, the job of your criminal law attorney has been made infinitely more difficult. If you or a loved one is the target of a criminal investigation and have not given a statement without the presence of your criminal attorney, consider yourself fortunate. You have the benefit of securing the services of a top criminal defense lawyer prior to charging decisions and settlement options being made within a prosecutor’s office.

Dealing with Indiana arrests? Learn more about Indiana Criminal Law and get the representation you deserve at IndianaCriminalLawyers.com.

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The Criminal Law Handbook – Know Your Rights, Survive the System

“The Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights, Survive the System” by Attorneys Paul Bergman & Sara J. Berman is an impressive 678 page tome of information all about criminal law. The book sets out to assist you with understanding the confusing rules and procedures involved with criminal offences and to teach you how the system works, why police, lawyers, and judges do what they do, and most importantly, what you can do to limit the harm. I feel it accomplishes that goal very well. Most of the book is written in an understandable question-and-answer format to explain the criminal justice system, both inside and outside the courtroom. It goes from initial police questioning through trials to prison and parole.

One must remember that Nolo focuses on making the law accessible to everyone, and the books published by Nolo do an outstanding job of doing just that. Therefore, this book isn’t a criminal law text book as you would find in law school, but a comprehensive guide for the non-lawyer or layperson. For such a guide, it is very good and includes a lot of information.

The twenty-seven chapters are broken down like this:

Chapter One: Talking to the Police. Chapter provides information on police questioning of people who haven’t been taken into custody and questioning of arrestees.

Chapter Two: Search and Seizure. Some of the topics covered here include: search warrants, plain view doctrine, stop and frisk, searches of cars, and warrantless searches.

Chapter Three: Arrest: When It Happens, What It Means. This chapter covers general arrest principles, arrest warrants, warrantless arrests, use of force when making arrests, and citizens’ arrests.

Chapter Four: Eyewitness Identification: Psychology and Procedures. Topics include eyewitness identification procedures, psychology of eyewitness identification, lineups, showups, photo identification, and motions to suppress identification.

Chapter Five: Booking and Bail: Checking In and Out of Jail. The booking process, arranging for bail, and being released on your own recognizance are covered here.

Chapter Six: From Suspect to Defendant. This chapter focuses on crime and criminal cases and charging, grand juries, and diversion.

Chapter Seven: Criminal Defense Lawyers. Do you need a lawyer, court-appointed attorneys, private defense attorneys, and self-representation are covered in this chapter.

Chapter Eight: Understanding the Attorney-Client Relationship in a Criminal Case. Topics include confidentiality, client-centered decision making, lawyer-client communication, among others.

Chapter Nine: A Walk Through Criminal Court. The courthouse, courtroom, courtroom players, and courtroom behavior are explained.

Chapter Ten: Arraignments. Timing and self-representation at arraignments are looked at here.

Chapter Eleven: Developing the Defense Strategy. Just what the chapter title says, the basics of defense strategy.

Chapter Twelve: Crimespeak: Understanding the Language of Criminal Laws. Basics about things such as murder and manslaughter, sexual violence, burglary, robbery, hate crimes, Patriot Act and more.

Chapter Thirteen: Defensespeak: Common Defenses to Criminal Charges. Topics such as partial defenses, self-defense, alibi, and insanity are covered here among others.

Chapter Fourteen: Discovery: Exchanging Information With the Prosecution. Discovery is an important part of any legal or civil case and this chapter provides the basics for the criminal arena.

Chapter Fifteen: Investigating the Facts. Interviews and witnesses are a couple of the things covered here.

Chapter Sixteen: Preliminary Hearings. What they are, what your rights are, and common strategies of both sides are presented here.

Chapter Seventeen: Fundamental Trial Rights of the Defense. Topics covered include: Due Process, Burden of Proof, Right to Remain Silent, Right to Confront Witnesses, Right to Jury Trial, Right to Counsel, and others.

Chapter Eighteen: Basic Evidence Rules in Criminal Trials. There are procedures that must be followed when presenting evidence and this chapter provides guidelines for doing it right.

Chapter Nineteen: Motions and Their Role in Criminal Cases. Learn what they are and what they are for in this chapter.

Chapter Twenty: Plea Bargains: How Most Criminal Cases End. Basics on plea bargains, the pros and cons, the process, and the strategy of negotiating plea bargains are covered in this chapter.

Chapter Twenty-one: The Trial Process. Good chapter on the various aspects of a trial from choosing a judge or jury to deliberations and verdict.

Chapter Twenty-two: Sentencing: How the Court Punishes Convicted Defendants. The basics of sentencing procedures and options and a bit about the death penalty.

Chapter Twenty-three. Appeals: Seeking Review by a Higher Court. Losing at trial does not necessarily mean it is over. This chapter covers appeals and writs.

Chapter Twenty-four: How the Criminal Justice System Works: A Walk Through Two Drunk Driving Cases. Examples using drunk driving.

Chapter Twenty-five: Juvenile Courts and Procedures. Special chapter explaining the how things work in Juvenile Courts.

Chapter Twenty-six: Prisoners’ Rules. Information covering prisons and prisoners’ rights, legal resources, parole and pardons.

Chapter Twenty-seven. Looking Up the Law. What and where to research, including a glossary.

Again, this book is a large tome of information. It is organized well and has many side-bars and examples. If you have a question regarding criminal law, more than likely this book will have an answer. The authors do point out that the law varies from state to state, and I’d recommend that besides this book, anyone dealing with the criminal system on their own look to the statutes in the jurisdiction they are in to ensure they have the law that is applicable to their case. That’s why I really like that the final chapter provides guidance in this area. The authors also note that the book is not intended as a detailed guide to self-representation. It is a thorough overview of the entire system, but it’s not everything, and that’s because you can’t put everything regarding our complex system in one book.

This is an excellent tour of the criminal justice system and one of the best resources around for the layperson who wants or needs to navigate the complex maze of rules and laws that make up our system. I recommend it highly for anyone who wants to know all about criminal law.

Alain Burrese, J.D. is a performance and personal development expert who teaches how to live, take action, and get things done through the Warrior’s Edge. Alain combines his military, martial art, and Asian experiences with his business, law, and conflict resolution education into a powerful way of living with balance, honor, and integrity. He teaches how to use the Warrior’s Edge to Take Action and Achieve Remarkable Results. Alain is the author of Hard-Won Wisdom From The School Of Hard Knocks, the DVDs Hapkido Hoshinsul, Streetfighting Essentials, Hapkido Cane, the Lock On Joint Locking series, and numerous articles and reviews. You can read more articles, over 100 reviews, and see clips of his DVDs as well as much more at http://www.burrese.com

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Criminal Law Regulations In Cyprus

Criminal law is a set of regulations that indicate the actions the society disapproves. A criminal wrong differs from civil wrong. Precisely, a criminal wrong denotes an action that inexcusably and unacceptably threatens or causes damage to individuals or the society. Criminal law focuses on protecting society and discourage criminal acts, by imposing punishments on people conducting these actions. It is remarkable that Criminal law regulations in Cyprus reflect to a great extend the main principles and major offenses of the English Common Law.

The Criminal Code (Cap. 154) includes all the main offenses and criminal responsibilities. On the other hand, the Criminal Procedure Law (Cap. 155), regulates all the matters related to criminal proceedings. Precisely, the structure of the Criminal Procedure Law envisions to provide support to all significant provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, the European Convention of Human Rights and other international treaties. This ensures the application of the law in a way that protects the rights of the citizens and at the same time is not preventing the protection of individuals from criminal wrongs and the conferment of justice.

Criminal Responsibility and Proceedings:

Before proceeding with the general criminal responsibility guidelines in Cyprus, it should be clarified that an individual under the age of 10 cannot be held criminally liable for any offense committed. Following the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, every individual charged with an offense is considered as being innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, the prosecution must prove that the accused individual is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. That is to say, the burden of proof falls on the prosecution side. In addition, it should be highlighted that criminal responsibility and/or sanctions are imposed only if there is a clear criminal intention.

Usually, the criminal prosecutions are instituted by the state. According to the Constitution, the Attorney General of the Republic, who is an independent officer of the government, may institute, conduct, take over, continue and discontinue any proceedings for an offense against any person in the Republic of Cyprus. Furthermore, the Police may institute proceedings through the District Divisional Commander of the Police based on the provisions of the Police Law (Cap. 285). These cases tend to have a public element and they are always under the supervision of Attorney General.

Precisely, in Cyprus, criminal justice is enforced by:

District Courts
Assize Court
Supreme Court of Cyprus

There is a wide spectrum of acts that comprise a criminal wrong and are punishable in the Republic of Cyprus, some of them are listed below:

Violent crime
Assault
Sexual assault
Theft
Drug trafficking and possession
Fraud and money laundering
Drunk driving and other road traffic offenses

Punishments:

Punishments are defined based on the severity of the crime committed. Some striking examples of punishment are:

Fine
Suspended sentence
Home imprisonment
Probation
Imprisonment.

Criminal proceedings require the immediate involvement of experienced and dedicated lawyers. An experienced lawyer will study your case thoroughly and provide you an adequate legal support.

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