What is Criminal Law?Criminal law is a type of law involved in punishing people for committing crimes against the state. Crimes against the state include many types of infractions of the law. In the US a criminal justice system is set up in order to rectify crimes and to ensure that they do not continue to happen. Criminal justice can be meted out with something as minor as a warning or fine to penalties as serious as the death penalty.read More
In the US, defendants suspected of committing some criminal act can either pay for a lawyer on their own or have a court-appointed public defender commissioned at the expense of the state.
Criminal charges may be filed against someone because of testimony given by another person or persons. Criminal charges may also be filed against someone with no testimony or accusation as well, usually initiated by some law enforcement department official.
The notion of “innocent until proven guilty” is the key component of the US Criminal Justice system. Therefore in criminal proceedings, the burden is on the prosecutor to prove the crime occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. It is important, therefore, to retain legal counsel that has years of experience in trying similar cases as yours. Criminal cases tend to be complex and highly complicated legal matters.
If you or someone you know is involved in a criminal legal matter, you must contact an experienced criminal law lawyer immediately. Through this website, you have access to the best criminal lawyers around the country. Submit your case for a free, no-obligation consultation or learn more about a particular aspect of criminal law.
Criminal Law Articles
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Second Degree Murder Charges
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First Degree Murder Charges
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Property Crime: A Comprehensive Overview Property crimes are acts of theft or damages to another person’s property without the use of force or threat. Common property crimes include burglary, larceny,…
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Criminal Defense Process
If you’re dealing with the criminal justice system because of an arrest or investigation, it’s in your best interest to understand the criminal defense process. Of course, there are differences between the federal and state versions of the criminal defense process, and there are significant variations among the 50 states. However, the basics of the criminal defense process are similar across the U.S.
Investigation or Arrest
Before an arrest for a crime, an individual may be the target of an investigation by law enforcement officers, and may even be under surveillance. At such an early point in the criminal defense process, it’s wise to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal attorney. Law enforcement officers (whether police, sheriff, federal agents, Coast Guard, etc.) sometimes overstep their authority.
In other cases, officers make an arrest without an investigation. An alleged crime may have been observed by law enforcement, or the arrest may be done based on other information. A person’s constitutional rights must be protected throughout the criminal defense process, and at the time of arrest, a person has the right to remain silent, and the right to contact an attorney.
Charges and Bail
After the arrest, law enforcement officers put the arrested person through some type of booking process. A prosecutor makes a decision regarding what crime or crimes the individual will be charged with. At the charges stage, a person has the right to know exactly what charges are being brought against him or her.
A person who has been arrested will probably have the opportunity to make bail by posting money or a bond as a surety for his or her future appearance in court. Before any money or bond is posted as bail, the person in custody should contact an attorney who is familiar with the criminal defense process in that specific locale.
Hearings, Trial, Pleas
After a prosecutor decides on the criminal charges, a criminal defense attorney representing the accused person may be able to negotiate to get the charges reduced or dismissed. It the charges are not dismissed, the next stage may be a preliminary hearing, a probable cause hearing, or a trial. At these steps in the criminal defense process, a defense attorney will strive to minimize the negative consequences for the defendant.
If a trial does not result in an acquittal (a not-guilty verdict), a defendant should be aware that there are widely differing guidelines for sentencing. These differences are based on the severity of the crime, the circumstances of the crime, the defendant’s past criminal record, and other factors. A criminal defense attorney can inform a defendant of the possibilities that can be expected, but the final decision about a criminal sentence is up to the judge.
More Criminal Defense Topics
Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
Criminal Defense Attorneys
Domestic Violence Lawyers
DWI – DUI Laws
Federal Crime Defense
Hit and Run Defense
White Collar Crime
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you're dealing with the criminal defense process, it's wise to have a legal professional on your side. Consult a qualified defense attorney today to protect your rights and explore your options.