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== Legal Defenses to a Crime  ==
 
== Legal Defenses to a Crime  ==
  
Individuals charged with a crime can supply a [[Defense|defense]] for an action to absolve them of criminal liability. Common defenses include: [[Self defense|self defense]], [[Defense of others|defense of others]], [[Defense of property|defense of property]], [[Use of lawful force|use of lawful force]], [[Necessity|necessity]], [[Duress|duress]], [[Insanity|insanity]], [[Intoxication|intoxication]], [[Diminished capacity|diminished capacity]], [[Mistake of fact|mistake of fact]], and [[Mistake of law|mistake of law]].<br>  
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Individuals charged with a crime can supply a [[Defense|defense]] for an action to absolve them of criminal liability. Common defenses include: [[Self defense|self defense]], [[Defense of others|defense of others]], [[Defense of property|defense of property]], [[Use of lawful force|use of lawful force]], [[Necessity|necessity]], [[Duress|duress]], [[Insanity|insanity]], [[Intoxication|intoxication]], [[Diminished Capacity|diminished capacity]], [[Mistake of fact|mistake of fact]], and [[Mistake of law|mistake of law]].<br>
  
 
== Phases of a Criminal Law Case  ==
 
== Phases of a Criminal Law Case  ==
  
 
The criminal law category also includes terms relates to phases of a case in the [[Criminal justice system|criminal justice system]] such as: [[Arrest|arrest]], [[Booking|booking]], [[Arraignment|arraignment]], [[Trial|trial]], [[Sentencing|sentencing]] and [[Appeal|appellate procedure]].
 
The criminal law category also includes terms relates to phases of a case in the [[Criminal justice system|criminal justice system]] such as: [[Arrest|arrest]], [[Booking|booking]], [[Arraignment|arraignment]], [[Trial|trial]], [[Sentencing|sentencing]] and [[Appeal|appellate procedure]].

Revision as of 23:53, 6 April 2010

Contents

Overview of Criminal Law

The category "criminal law" encompasses the body of rules and statutes that defines conduct prohibited by the government because it threatens and harms public safety and welfare and that establishes punishment to be imposed for the commission of such acts.

Criminal Law versus Criminal Procedure

The term criminal law generally refers to substantive criminal laws. Substantive criminal laws define crimes and may establish punishments. In contrast, criminal procedure describes the process through which the criminal laws are enforced. For example, the law prohibiting murder is a substantive criminal law. The manner in which government enforces this substantive law—through the gathering of evidence and prosecution—is generally considered a procedural matter.

Common topics in criminal procedure include: suspicion, Miranda rights, gathering and admitting evidence, and hearsay and hearsay exceptions.

Elements of a Crime

Criminal statutes identify crimes based on required acts (actus reus) and required states of mind (mens rea) or intent. The specific actus reas and mens rea make up the elements of a particular crime. To convict an individual of a crime, a prosecutor must prove each element of the specific crime. For example in most states arson is defined as the intentional burning of almost any kind of structure, construction, or even wilderness. Each element would have to be proven (i.e. “intentional”, “burning”, “structure/construction/land”) for an individual to be charged for arson.

Some crimes are defined by statute and do not require proving a mental state or mens rea to prove the crime. These are called statutory crimes.

Legal Defenses to a Crime

Individuals charged with a crime can supply a defense for an action to absolve them of criminal liability. Common defenses include: self defense, defense of others, defense of property, use of lawful force, necessity, duress, insanity, intoxication, diminished capacity, mistake of fact, and mistake of law.

Phases of a Criminal Law Case

The criminal law category also includes terms relates to phases of a case in the criminal justice system such as: arrest, booking, arraignment, trial, sentencing and appellate procedure.

Contributors

FindLaw Brian, FindLaw Nira, FindLaw Sarah, FindLaw dave

Subcategories

This category has only the following subcategory.

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Pages in category "Criminal Law"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 204 total.

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