All crimes may be scrutinized, charged and arbitrated at the federal or the state level. The following sections will contain a brief overview of Criminal law.
Types of Crimes
Crimes can be categorized as follows:
1. Felony: Very serious crimes are known as felonies, wherein the accused are required to serve at least one year in jail. Felonies can be further classified as follows:
2. Misdemeanor: The lesser crimes are known as misdemeanors and usually entail less than one year in jail. Some of the various types of misdemeanor are listed below:
- Public Intoxication
Sometimes depending on the criminal code prevalent in the state and the description of the crime, certain crimes are classified as either felony or misdemeanor. Such crimes that often include assaults are known as wobblers.
Constituents of Crime
In order to prove the crime committed by the convicted, the prosecuting party must persuade the arbiter that the accused person had guilt in mind while committing it. The description of the mindset of the accused depends on the following:
To cite an example of the above, it is to be noted that murder occurs when a person intentionally kills another human being. For proving the crime committed by the incriminated, the prosecuting party thus needs to convince the jury of not only the act of murder, but also the intention of the murderer.
The Rights of the Person Guilty of Crime
If one is convicted of felony, misdemeanor or wobblers, he/she holds some rights after the arrest is done. This includes the following:
- Right to Maintain Silence: This right is proposed to fortify the accused from stating something that may prove the commitment of the crime.
- Right to Appoint an Attorney: If you are held back at the police station, you are given the right to get in touch with your criminal lawyer. The main role of appointing a criminal attorney is to provide advice to the convicted and to represent him/ her in the court.
- Right to a Public Defender: If the person accused of a crime does not have enough finances to appoint an attorney, a public defender can be appointed to represent him/ her.
Criminal Law Procedure
The following steps are followed in a criminal case:
- Arrest: This is the initial step in the criminal process, wherein within a certain small period of time, the police will either file a case against you or order your release.
- Charge: If one is found guilty of crime, he/ she will have to make an appearance in court for indictment. All the charges against a person are made public and the accused is provided with the chance to file a petition (guilty or otherwise). The arbiter will announce a trial date if one files a not guilty petition.
- Plea Bargain: You may enter “plea bargain” with the prosecuting party while waiting for the trial. The plea bargain is a procedure wherein the incriminated pleads guilty to a crime of lower degree to acquire a light sentence.