Criminal law refers to a branch of law that interdicts any conduct that is perceived to endanger, harm, or threaten the moral welfare, safety, health, and property of oneself or other individuals in society. Mostly, criminal law is ordained by a legislature. It is also correct to say that criminal law is established by statute. Measures incorporated by criminal la include punishment and punishment of those found culpable of committing a crime.
Objectives of criminal law
• Retribution: Criminal law seeks to punish individuals that have been involved in a crime by putting them at various unpleasant disadvantages as a way of balancing the scales. These disadvantages involve the criminals being denied some of their rights, such as the right to freedom.
• Deterrence: This objective aims at imposing significant penalties on offenders, thus discouraging them from criminal behavior.
• Incapacitation: The objective is designed to ensure that criminals are kept away from society in an attempt to protect society members from their misconduct.
• Rehabilitation: This objective aims at ensuring the transformation of criminals into valuable members of society. Through rehabilitation, criminals are convinced that their conduct was wrong thus is significant in preventing such conduct by the rehabilitated offenders.
• Restoration: This objective aims at using state authority to repair injuries that might have been imposed upon an individual by an offender.
Types of Criminal Law
• Misdemeanor: Misdemeanors are offenses that are considered to be criminal offenses of a lower level. They include petty thefts, traffic offenses, and minor assaults.
• Felony: felonies are considered to be crimes that involve more serious offenses. Examples of felonies include arson, robbery, rape, drug dealing, manslaughter, and murder.
General Principles of Criminal law
Across the criminal justice system, there are various general principles of law. They include criminal responsibility, intention, and rule against retroactivity. Criminal responsibility applies to both the perpetrator of a crime and to the individuals that, knowingly, helped or encouraged the perpetrator in committing a crime. Individuals may find themselves entangled into a crime, even without practically carrying out the crime, by either providing practical help, implements, or information to the perpetrators. Intention is another principle of criminal law. It is among the most important principles of this branch of law. The principle provides that a person, under all circumstances, can not be convicted for a crime where there was no intention by the said individual to commit the crime. Lastly, the principle of rule against retroactivity forbids the infliction of laws that would lead to the punishment individuals for conduct that was not considered criminal during the time of its perpetration.
Crime – General principles of criminal law. (2020). Retrieved 19 May 2020, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/crime-law/General-principles-of-criminal-law