What Constitutes a Criminal Case?

criminal law

A criminal case is filed in direct violation of the law. According to the United States Courts, a criminal case is usually initiated by the government. When a crime is committed, law enforcement agencies such as the police or the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be alerted; these agencies will then coordinate with a US attorney, also known as the prosecutor. 

United States Attorneys make sure that the federal law is executed faithfully across different parts of the nation. The US president himself appoints lawyers in all federal districts to serve as the chief federal law enforcement officials representing the country as a party. 

Different kinds of criminal cases

Various types of criminal offenses exist in the US and around the world. These offenses can be divided into five major categories. Let’s discuss it one by one. 

Crimes against a Person

A crime committed against a person carries the greatest weight in terms of penalty. There are two types of crimes that can be committed against a person: homicide and violent crimes.

Homicide is used to describe the act of killing a person. Some people can commit homicide without it being illegal; a soldier, for example, can commit homicide, but it does not make them a criminal. Killing an intruder by a homeowner may be classified as a non-criminal homicide because it is an act of self-defense. Homicide, then, can be legal as long as it is a justifiable act. 

Homicide becomes illegal when it is a form of unjustified killing. In murder, there is usually an intent to kill. Murder can be classified into two: first-degree murder and second-degree murder. First-degree murder is a premeditated act. Second-degree murder, on the other hand, happens without premeditation but is done with intent. 

Even without intent, a person can be charged with homicide. Let’s take vehicular homicide, for instance. When a person dies, a crime is committed due to a driver’s negligent operation of a motorized vehicle. For this type of case, car accident lawyers are helpful

Meanwhile, violent crimes happen when a victim is harmed and threatened with violence. Some examples of violent crimes are rape, assault, as well as kidnapping. 

Crimes Against Property

Crimes against property involve cases that cause harm to another party’s property. Samples of crimes against property are theft, robbery, shoplifting, and burglary. 

Inchoate Crimes

Inchoate refers to an uncompleted action. Therefore, inchoate crimes refer to acts that were initiated but uncompleted. To be found guilty, the party must have taken a substantial step leading to the crime. Samples of inchoate crimes are conspiracy and aiding and abetting. 

Statutory Crimes

To understand statutory crimes, it is first important to know what statute is. 

A statute is a law passed on a certain city or state. A statute is usually, but not always, signed by the governor. One act may be legal in one state and illegal in another. Statutory crimes apply to all residents of the state, city, or district, whether that resident is aware of the existing law or not. 

Statutes are passed in a certain city, district, or state specifically to prevent a certain crime or incident from frequently happening in the area. Examples of statutory crimes are DUI (driving under the influence), minor in possession of alcohol, and public intoxication. 

Drug crime is one area of statutory crime that is under debate. The use of marijuana, for instance, might be legal in one state and illegal in another. 

Financial Crimes

Financial crimes involve fraud for monetary gains. Such crimes include embezzlement, money laundering, and tax evasion. Fraud and blackmail are also part of financial crimes. 

Facing criminal charges

When a person faces a criminal charge, they are innocent until proven guilty. Certain steps must be taken by a person accused of a crime. 

Do not talk to the police

There’s a reason why the police are required by the constitution to recite the Miranda warning. It is to remind the criminally charged party of their right to silence and to consult an attorney. Take this warning to heart and consult a lawyer first before giving any incriminating information to the police. Statements you give to the police may be used against you. 

Consult with an experienced criminal attorney.

The next best thing to do is to consult a lawyer. An attorney knows how these proceedings go, and they can properly advise you on what actions to take. 

Do not consent to anything.

The police will try to search for evidence in your home. Do not consent to this unless they give legal proof that they are authorized to do such a search. You can deny consent because this is your right; this is according to the constitution. 




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