What is Criminal Law?

Criminal law is a set of rules that governs the punishment of people who commit crimes. Criminal laws are usually created by statutes, and each state and the federal government has their own set of criminal statutes.


One source of the value of criminal law is its capacity to help alter social morality, such that neglected values become taken seriously by community members (Green 2013a). This is known as the Kantian view of crime and punishment.


Criminal law is the set of rules that define what types of behavior are considered criminal and how individuals can be punished if they violate criminal statutes. Governments at the federal, state and local levels all have their own sets of laws that prohibit certain behaviors and penalize individuals who commit crimes.

Generally, the goal of criminal laws is to ensure that society’s accepted values are maintained and upheld. These values include the preservation of morality (through the prohibitions on obscenity and prostitution offences), the protection of property and person (through murder and theft offences) and the maintenance of public order and peace (through treason offences). 상간녀위자료소송

Every crime has specific elements that need to be present in order for it to be considered a violation of the criminal code. The most important of these is the act itself, also known as the “actus reus.” This involves doing something illegal. The second element is the perpetrator’s intent, also known as “mens rea.” This involves having a mental state that is aware of the act and approves of it.

Different jurisdictions have different goals for their criminal justice systems. But five general objectives are widely accepted for punishments: deterrence, incapacitation, retribution, rehabilitation and restoration. These objectives are typically achieved through a combination of factors that include fines, incarceration and probation.

Elements of a 상간녀위자료소송 Crime

There are a number of elements that the prosecution must prove in order to convict someone of a crime. These are often set out in criminal statutes or in cases in jurisdictions that allow common law crimes. These include the criminal act, also known as actus reus; the criminal intent, or mens rea; and attendant circumstances. Some crimes require prosecutors to establish intent, while others do not.

Intent is typically determined by whether the accused took steps towards committing the offence or not. For example, a person who was arrested for conspiracy to commit rape would be convicted if prosecutors can show that he or she purchased supplies to carry out the crime, such as fake ID cards and weapons. These are considered attendant circumstances because they are essential to defining the crime and must be proven with the same degree of certainty as the other ingredients of the offence.

Another requirement is causation, or the relationship between a defendant’s actions and the alleged bad outcome. This element is particularly important in cases where the defendant’s conduct could have resulted in different outcomes, such as manslaughter or murder. This is because only those offences that specify a bad outcome have the mental element of malice aforethought. For all other crimes, prosecutors must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions directly led to the harm or injury, but this is not always easy to do.


The punishments available under criminal law include fines, incarceration and rehabilitation. Governments use public funds to hire police officers and prosecuting attorneys to put criminal law into effect. The laws of a jurisdiction will explain the specific crimes that it prohibits and how they are classified. The most serious offences are called felonies and the less severe are called misdemeanors. Typically the criminal acts that are penalised under criminal law are those that harm the public, such as murder or fraud. Criminal law is distinguished from civil law, which deals with private disputes between individuals such as landlord/tenant conflicts or divorce proceedings.

One important line of objection to a consequentialist justification for punishment is that it treats offenders as dangerous ‘outsiders’ who must be excluded from the community and punished in order to protect the law-abiding citizens. A possible response to this argument is that a penalty system that relies on deterrence can still communicate a moral message by declaring certain actions as wrong and by punishing them in ways that convey a sense of deserved censure (see Hoskins 2011a).

Another objection is based on free will scepticism, which suggests that the state’s power to criminalise conduct cannot be justified on the grounds that people may sometimes merit a judgement of blameworthiness. It is argued that this view leads to unjustified and pernicious consequences such as overcriminalisation, overly harsh sentencing and mass incarceration.


Criminal law defines specific acts that constitute crimes and sets out punishments for those who commit them. Felonies are more serious offenses, such as murder or rape, while misdemeanors are less serious crimes, like possession of small amounts of illegal drugs. Punishment may range from fines to imprisonment for a year or more. Those who commit serious offences can be subject to capital punishment in some jurisdictions, while other forms of punishment include solitary confinement and government supervision.

Rehabilitation is an option that is available for some offenders. It aims to change an offender’s behavior so that he or she does not commit further crimes in the future. This approach was a central feature of correctional policy in the first half of the 20th century, but fell out of favor in the 1970s and 1980s. It has regained some favor in recent years, and includes an array of programs such as mental health and drug abuse treatment and education. Programs are often geared toward particular types of offenders, such as women and those who have committed sex offenses.

Some of the ideas underlying rehabilitation are controversial. For example, some believe that offenders need to be treated as if they have a mental deficit or disorder that causes them to behave in a criminal way. This view is sometimes referred to as the psychiatric understanding of rehabilitation, while others argue that the goal should be focused on diminishing the capacities that underlie criminal responsibility, such as rational agency.