Criminal Law - Overview
- Criminal Law - An Overview by Wex
Criminal law involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime. Civil cases, on the other hand, involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. In a criminal case, the state, through a prosecutor, initiates the suit, while in a civil case the victim brings the suit. Persons convicted of a crime may be incarcerated, fined, or both. However, persons found liable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money, but are not incarcerated.
A "crime" is any act or omission (of an act) in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Though there are some common law crimes, most crimes in the United States are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws vary significantly from state to state. There is, however, a Model Penal Code (MPC) which serves as a good starting place to gain an understanding of the basic structure of criminal liability.
Crimes include both felonies (more serious offenses -- like murder or rape) and misdemeanors (less serious offenses -- like petty theft or jaywalking). Felonies are usually crimes punishable by imprisonment of a year or more, while misdemeanors are crimes punishable by less than a year. However, no act is a crime if it has not been previously established as such either by statute or common law. Recently, the list of Federal crimes, dealing with activities extending beyond state boundaries or having special impact on federal operations, has grown. See Title 18.
- Criminal Law - The Basics by Findlaw
For most people, familiarity with criminal law comes in fragments -- from movies, television, and books. But when we become personally involved in the criminal law system, real-life issues come into focus and the need for information and assistance can arise quickly. This overview discusses the basics of criminal law: criminal statutes, criminal law players and procedure, and the potential outcome of a criminal case. Links to additional introductory information on criminal law are also provided.
- Criminal Law Overview - Justia
Criminal law addresses the government's prosecution of individuals who have committed an act classified as a crime. Federal, state, and local governments codify crimes and prosecute criminals. A prosecuting attorney represents the people of a particular jurisdiction, and acts on behalf of the government by bringing a case against an accused.
- Theories of Criminal Law - Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Philosophical ‘theories of criminal law’ may be analytical or normative (§ 1). Once we have identified the salient features that distinguish criminal law from other kinds of law (§2), we ask whether and why we should maintain such an institution (§3). Instrumentalist answers to this question portray criminal law as an efficient technique that helps us achieve worthwhile ends; non-instrumentalist answers portray it as an intrinsically appropriate response to certain kinds of wrongful conduct (§4). By considering the question of how the criminal law should address the citizens (§5), we can discern the truth in the non-instrumentalist perspective. The next question concerns the proper scope of the criminal law: what kinds of conduct should be criminalised? Several candidate principles of criminalisation are critically discussed (§6), including the Harm Principle, and the claim that the criminal law should be concerned with ‘public’, rather than merely ‘private’, wrongs.
Areas of crime that fall under the criminal law statutes: Appellate Law; White Collar Crime; Bribery; Counterfeiting / Forgery; Embezzlement; Fraud; Healthcare Fraud; Government Fraud; Murder / Homicide; Tax Evasion; Violent Crime; Theft / Property Crime; Drug Crime; Juvenile Crime; Child Abuse Crime;
- ABA - Criminal Justice Section
The Criminal Justice Section has primary responsibility for the American Bar Association's work on solutions to issues involving crime, criminal law, and the administration of criminal and juvenile justice. The Section plays an active leadership role in bringing the views of the ABA to the attention of federal and state courts, Congress, and other federal and state judicial, legislative, and executive policy-making bodies. The Section also serves as a resource to its members on issues in the forefront of change in the criminal justice arena.
Criminal Justice Standards Committee
The Standards Committee is responsible for keeping the prestigious multi-volume Standards for Criminal Justice up-to-date and relevant to criminal justice policymakers and practitioners. Appointed by the ABA President from recommendations of the Section Chair, its nine members commission task forces to draft new Standards on emerging issues or to propose revisions to existing Standards. The Committee reviews, refines, and presents the task forces' proposed "black letter" Standards to the Criminal Justice Section Council for approval prior to their submission to the ABA House of Delegates. Once the Standards are approved as ABA policy, the Committee approves commentary to accompany them in published volumes.
- Crimes and Criminal Procedure; and Appendix
U.S. House of Representatives
- Crimess and Criminal Procedures
United States Code provided by Cornell Law School
- Criminal Justice Articles And Databases
Website with a wide range of information and study guides on criminal law. Recommended for criminal law students.
- Criminal Law Information by Freeadvice
Many categories of FAQ about Criminal Law
- Differences between Civil and Criminal Law in the USA
Criminal law is much better known to laymen than civil law, as a result of journalists' reports of famous criminal trials. In talking with people about law, I find that they often misapply principles from criminal law to situations in civil (e.g., tort) law, which results in their misunderstanding. They are surprised when they learn the actual legal principles that apply to a problem. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast criminal and civil law.
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)
NCJRS is a federally funded resource offering justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development.
- Penal Law - by Markus Dirk Dubber, Professor of Law
A comprehensive on-line digest of American criminal law, the Penal Law Web is part of a comprehensive program to reform American penal law teaching, scholarship, and practice. Additional information on this program is available here. Click here for an interactive illustration of the Penal Law Web's role in criminal law teaching. For an on-line digest of New York criminal law, go to New York Criminal Law: A Web.
Criminal Code by State