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What You Should Know about Criminal Law

Criminal laws is also referred to as penal law Penal law is a branch of statutory and common law which handles crime and the criminal punishment of legal offenses. It is based on the four theories of the criminal justice system namely, punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. All this imposition of sanctions concerning the crime is to achieve justice and peaceable social order. Building social control is the main objective of criminal law. 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. The criminal laws and punishments are set up in a way that they act as restraints and help in the restraining behavior of the people.

First, criminal charges are filed, and then proceedings follow, and it takes place in a series of stages. 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. During investigation process, they could be forced to arrest some people. They’ll as an alternative finish the report and forward it to the prosecutor’s office for assessment. It is the prosecutor who will be authorized whether or not criminal charges will be filed against any suspect mentioned in the police report. Among jurisdictions, the procedures for filling cases may vary.

The police are given greater discretionary powers by some jurisdiction in charging defendants with specific offenses. The others are there to give more and higher powers on this regard to the prosecutor. 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.

Alleged crime will begin the process of criminal justice. The police examine after the accusation that the accuser makes. The police, in this case, act as the agent of the government. The grand jury brings a complaint or an accusation, or even a formal charging document is filed in a court in the appropriate jurisdiction. A prosecuting attorney represents the interests of the state. The interests of the suspect are represented by the defense lawyer or by the suspect acting as his or her lawyer. The procedure ends with a bench trial irrespective of local laws that can be followed by using mandatory or open appeals to higher courts. 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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