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Some Basic Information about Criminal Law In cases when offenses are committed that are detrimental to society, these are called crimes. It is a legal fiction, according to common law jurisdiction, that the peace of the sovereign is disturbed in crimes committed. The sovereign are represented by government officials as the agents, and it is their responsibility to prosecute offenders. The term plaintiff in practical terms of criminal law is translated as the monarch or people. Deterrence and punishment are the major objectives of criminal law, while civil law is individual compensation. The physical act or the actus reur or guilty act and the requisite mental state of which the act is done or mens rea or guilty mind, are the two distinct elements of a criminal offence. As an example in a murder case, the actus reus is the unlawful killing of the person, while the mens rea is the intention or malice to kill or cause grave injury to the person. The criminal law specifies the punishment that will be put on the concern person, and it also would require the defendants to detail their defences so that their criminal responsibility will be lessen or negated. It is not the nature of the criminal law to require a victim or a victim’s consent to prosecute the offender. Also, the consent of the victim cannot be a defence in most crimes, and note that even with the objections of the victim, a criminal prosecution can take place. There are two fields that a criminal law would play in most jurisdictions of both common and civil law traditions. One is that to address the violations of criminal law, what regulates the process is the criminal procedure. Another field is the substantive criminal law that specifies the definition of and punishments for in the different crimes.
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With criminal law, crimes from civil wrongs like tort or breach of contract are distinguished from the other. The criminal law therefore is a system that regulates the behaviour of individuals and groups in relation to societal norms as a whole, while civil law is directed primarily at the relationship between private individuals and their rights and obligations under the law. In the past, ancient legal system did not really have a distinction between civil and criminal law, but there later on modified in the late nineteenth century. The English common criminal law of 1750 has become the basic course in criminal law in most U.S. law schools.
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There are several types of criminal law and these are arrests and searches, drug crimes, juvenile law, drunk driving, parole, probation, pardons, violent crimes, white collar crimes and military law. Be informed that the other name of criminal law is penal law, and it is the term used to refer many rule bodies with specific jurisdictions.