Whether you are a past offender, currently facing criminal charges, or have a clean record, these criminal law tips are facts that everyone needs to know. Not only can having this knowledge protect you and your loved ones in various situations, it can help you navigate current and future legal issues that are in the works. Continue reading to learn 10 criminal law facts and advice, and be sure to pass this information onto your friends, co-workers, and loved ones.Important Criminal Defense Tips1. If you are pulled over and an officer suspects you have been drinking, you have the right to refuse a sobriety test. But there is a serious catch. Keep in mind that this also means law enforcement will arrest you on the spot, and your drivers’ license will be automatically suspended for 12 months. This is because most states, such as Indiana, are “implied consent” states. This means if you have a drivers’ license, then you automatically consent to BAC testing anytime.2. If law enforcement shows up at your house or office requesting to conduct a search of the premises, you have the right to refuse. If they have a search warrant, you do not have this right and you must cooperate with them completely. If they do not have a search warrant, close the door and immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer.3. If you are confronted by law enforcement, always be courteous and cooperative. Having an attitude, being disrespectful, and refusing to cooperate will only get you in more trouble. If you want the best experience possible with police, whether you end up getting arrested or not, be sure you are polite, well-spoken, and cooperative. They have all the power at the moment, and you must remember that you do not have control over the situation, so it is best to just give in and relinquish all the control. This will make your time with police and jail (if it gets to that) a lot easier for you.4. If you are already on probation or parole for a previous offense, and you commit another crime, you will face additional legal sentences and penalties on top of the one you are currently serving. Many people are unaware how serious of an offense it is to violate probation or parole, especially by committing another crime. You can most certainly expect to be sentenced to jail time.5. A minor is a person over the age of 10 and under the age of 18. However, minors can be charged as an adult in certain cases. This usually happens if the crime is very serious or if the minor is close to turning 18 years old. Being tried as an adult means that a minor faces adult penalties.6. If you are a past offender, and it has been many years since your last offense, you may qualify to have your criminal record sealed from public access. This means that employers, banks, landlords, and the general public cannot look up a particular criminal charge or arrest. You must have a criminal defense lawyer help you file for record sealing, as the process is highly complex and demanding.7. To get a complete copy of your criminal record, you must compile all records in every county and state they exist. That is because local, state, and federal records are all different. You will have to contact the clerk’s office or local authorities to get the records you need. You can also have your criminal defense lawyer help you with this.8. Never waive your right to an attorney. Furthermore, never attempt to represent yourself in court. If you want to avoid the maximum penalties for your criminal charges, you need to have an experienced lawyer working on your defense. They are the only ones who have the knowledge and resources to protect your rights and preserve your freedoms.9. You have to be very careful what you post to your social media accounts. You must understand that your social media activity can be used against you in a court of law, even traffic court, divorce court, and other civil courts. Law enforcement and government organizations have technology that allows them to identify IP addresses, locations, coordinates, times, dates, and more. If you post from a coffee shop on the corner of 9th and Main, they can find out. Nothing is private on your social media, and all activity is permanently logged forever.10. The best way to avoid getting in trouble with the law is to surround yourself with positive and healthy people, and to partake in healthy activities. Furthermore, educating yourself on certain particulars of the law can help you understand your rights and obligations as a U.S. citizen. If you ever have questions about the law, contact a trusted criminal defense lawyer for professional advice and answers.
Criminal and penal law refers to the same type of law. Punishments under these laws can be severe and unique depending on the offense and the jurisdiction. Imprisonment, execution, parole, probation and fines are the most common forms of punishment. On occasion, the lines between civil and criminal law become blurred.The first written code of law was produced by the Sumarians. Civil and criminal law were not separated in these early codes.The potential for serious consequences and for failure to follow the rules makes criminal law unique. If imprisonment is ordered, it can be solitary and span the lifetime of the individual. House arrest is another form of confinement that requires individuals to follow rules set forth by probation or parole department. Money and property can also be taken from those who are convicted.Five categories of penalties include punishment, retribution, deterrence, incapacitation and restitution. These punishments will vary among jurisdictions..For crimes that have an effect on entire areas and societies because of their heinous nature, public international law applies. Public International Law began following World War 2 with the Nuremberg Trials. These trials marked the beginning of individuals being held accountable even though they were acting on behalf of their government. They cannot claim sovereign immunity.Creating a fear of punishment is how most laws are enforced.Generally, undesirable acts are forbidden by criminal law. Actus reus, or guilty act, requires evidence that a crime was committed by an action, a threat of action or a lack of action. Actus reus requires a physical element. If someone is in charge of caring for someone else, whether by contract, blood relation living together or through an official position then actus reus applies. It also applies to situations that are dangerous as a result of one. ‘s own actions. This is where the Good Samaritan Laws apply.Some crimes, such as regulatory offenses, require no more. These crimes are called strict liability offenses. Due to the potential severity of consequences, proof of intent must be met. Proof of a guilty mind, or mens rea, is required.For crimes that require both to be present, actus reus and mens rea must be present at the same time. They cannot occur at different times.Nullifying actus reus can occur by proving that the harm to a person would have happened anyway. If you run a red light and injury a person, actus reus will not be nullified because their injury was a direct result of your intended action.Mens rea, or a guilty mind, means that there was intention to violate the law. Under criminal law; intention and motive or not the same. Good intentions do not negate criminal intentionsIf a defendant realizes that an act is hazardous but does it anyway, they have met the mens rea requirement. It is known as recklessness. Courts often consider if the individual should have realized the risk or not. Mens rea has been reduced in some areas of criminal law because if the individual should have known the risk, but did not, intent is erased.The seriousness of an offense can vary due to intent. If an individual has the intent of killing or causing bodily harm that could result in death, it is murder. If someone is killed because of recklessness it could be manslaughter. It does not matter who is actually harmed by the act. If you intend to hit someone but, end up hitting someone else, your intent is then transferred to that person. This is called transferred malice.Strict liability is a generally used in civil law. It is harm caused by a defendant regardless of intent or mens reas. Not all crimes require specific intent.Murder is the most often targeted act under criminal law. Some jurisdictions have levels of severity for murder. First degree murder is based on intent and requires malice. Manslaughter is a killing committed in without malice being present. It is often brought about by reasonable provocation, or diminished capacity.. A killing involving reckless can be considered involuntary manslaughter in areas that have that offense.Settled insanity is a possible defense.Assault and battery can create criminal liability. Rape is considered a form batteryTrespassing falls under criminal law as does conversion, theft, embezzlement and robbery.Knowing about a crime or conspiring to commit one can result in criminal charges even if the crime itself is never committed. Some examples of this are: aiding, abetting, conspiracy, and attempt.