The Medlin Law Firm – The Penal Laws
Criminal laws are called penal laws as well. Criminal law, based on the four theories of the criminal justice system, is the body of law and common law dealing with crime and the legal punishment of legal offences, namely punishment, deterrence, incapacitation and rehabilitation. All this imposition of criminal sanctions is about the achievement of justice and a peaceful social order. Visit us for great deals in The Medlin Law Firm
In criminal law, the aim is to exercise social control. It aims to discourage behaviour that is harmful to society’s well-being, as well as behaviour that challenges the authority and legitimacy of the government.
Criminal laws and punishments are so established that they act as deterrents and assist in restraining people’s behaviour. The punishment is handed down by criminal laws dealing with the establishment of procedures for punishing offenders by the state and not by the victim (who may seek revenge).
The criminal charges are filed and in a series of stages the criminal proceedings take place. It is the police who respond to any citizen’s complaint submitted and take action. The police may also feel suspicious and in such cases, they investigate, take statements from several important witnesses and prepare a report on the basis of the findings. During the course of the investigation, they can arrest people. Alternatively, they may complete the report (as is usually the case) and submit it to the prosecutor’s office for assessment. It will be the prosecutor who decides whether or not any suspect named in the police report will be charged with criminal charges. However the processes for filing charges vary between jurisdictions.
There are some jurisdictions that give the police greater discretionary powers to accuse defendants of specific crimes, while others provide the prosecutor with greater powers in this regard. The person concerned may be ticked for a ‘civil offence’ after being stopped by the police, or may be ticked or arrested for a ‘misdemeanour’ or maybe even arrested for a ‘crime’ after being stopped by the police. It may be that the police may arrest a person while recommending a particular charge, but criminal charges are usually selected by the prosecutor’s office alone.
The criminal justice process begins with an alleged crime. The police are investigating the complaint made by the plaintiff. The police in this case, are acting as government agents. A complaint or an indictment is filed with a court in the appropriate jurisdiction as a formal charging document as presented by the grand jury.
A prosecuting attorney represents the state’s interests. The defendant’s interests are represented by the defence attorney or the defendant pro se, that is, by the defendant acting as his own attorney. Regardless of local laws, the process culminates with a jury trial that may be followed by mandatory or discretionary appeals to higher courts. Your privileges with the authorities, your rights in the courts and your rights upon prosecution are rendered clear to you by the criminal counsel.