Criminal Law Research

Published: 2019-02-20 13:34:22
2091 words
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Sewanee University of the South
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Criminal law jurisdiction

Criminal law has a wider scope, which draws on several sociological and legal sources that adjudicate the significant human conducts. Criminal law jurisdiction encompasses the system of different value and self-representations. Thus an individual perception and the law widely vary. The criminal responsibility general principles act as rational deterrents by way of targeting different mentalities that in turn control their temperament, and through intimidating the thinking or perception of the entire or general populace. The extent of this article will, therefore, encompass the criminal law in general outlook.

The elementary contrast between the typical cases and the criminal cases is that they are conducted in several courts on account of unique qualifications that exists between a criminal off-base and a plain wrong. The decisions of whether to blame are obligated to withdrawal before making use of power or the authority as a supplement to self-protection is a subject of criminal law that is doubtful. The law gun control, Criminals, and Rights have emerged as one of the hot topics in the United States. Albeit many people in the U.S. believes and trusts that strict firearm laws will reduce the crime or the wrongdoing rates and profits everyone (Stephen & Smith, 2014). 

Criminal law fills just a portion of the needs in the framework of criminal equity. The fundamental purpose of the criminal law is serving, ensuring, and break the human point acts and thereby guiding human behavior. Besides, laws give discipline and punishments against those who are liable of perpetrating defiance against people or property. In the world presently; private activity, proper control, and criminal training are three decisions that manage offenders.

Research Questions

- What does the criminal law mean? What does in entail?

- Are there classifications of crimes? If yes, what are they?

- Who should be responsible for defining crimes and setting out their punishments?

- Does the accuser have the right to defend him or herself? In what manner?

- What are the criminal procedures in case of an offense for both the accuser and the accused?


Criminal law is a subdivision of law, which describes crimes, forms of their natural history, and the provision of their punishments. Crime is offense, which is done against the public even if only one person had been wronged; a tort, on the other hand, is regarded to be a civil wrong done against an individual or an individual (Dressler, 1995).  The proper distinction or difference lies in the means in which the remedy is pursued to the wrongdoer. For a tort, the treatment is sought at the discretion of the injured person or their representatives, but for a crime, the state prosecutes the wrongdoer for the punishment purpose. The fact, however, that a particular act may be or has been prosecuted doesn’t necessarily mean that an offended party cannot seek healing from the wrongdoer or the lawbreaker in a public action.

Crime Classifications

Crime is often grouped as misdemeanor, disloyalty, or felony. The significant difference between misdemeanor and felonies lies with the power of imprisonment and penalty offered. Misdemeanors are the offenses for which its punishment apart from imprisonment or death in a nation’s prison is prescribed by the law. The degree of a crime is a term referring to the differences in the offense capability due to the circumstances that surround its commission. Sometimes crimes are divided based on their nature into crimes mala prohibita and the other being crimes mala in se.

The former class embraces the acts which are prohibited by the law since they infringe on the rights and freedom of other people, they include practices in trade restraint which have been made unlawful under antitrust legislation (Werle & Jessberger, 2014). The latter class includes those practices, which are thought to be naturally evil, or wrong or immoral in them. These include arson, larceny, rape, burglary, murder, and the like.

Defining and Setting Punishment for the Crime

In the U.S., the authority to set punishment and to define crimes rests with the legislative councils of the U.S., various states and their territories with the primary authority of a state as an individual. The Federal Constitution restricts the power of the states involved like in the 14th amendment and in the acts of attainder prohibitions (attainder laws are congressional declarations that an individual is guilty of a crime). Also, the ex-post facto laws which limit the actions by the state’s legislature (Clinard, et al. 2014). The state legislation effects may also be restricted by the constitution of the state, and the court has no power to further look into the modesty of a punitive statute rather than ascertaining whether the governing body is in authority to endorse it. Executive rules can have the might of regulation of which when violated attracts punishments as a public offense with the provision that the legislative council had made the violations a misdemeanor.

Common law crimes are the ones that are punishable under universal laws as opposed to the statute specified crimes. In several United State’s jurisdictions, the common law as related to criminal procedures and crimes has been established and renowned by the judges bench as being in force apart from insofar which has been under repeal or abrogation, impliedly or expressly, by the law. The nation, therefore, may put on trial the crimes which are indictable by at the ordinary law disregard less that they might not be denominated or suggested by the rule (Stephen & Smith, 2014). The court in other several jurisdictions has held universal laws as to offenses which are being abolished and that no practice is worth punishment as a crime unless specified by the statute or made punishable as a crime by the states constitution.

The law regulates the criminal procedures entirely. There exists no common law offense against the U.S., and a person may be subjected to a penalty for an offense in a federal court for omission or commission of practice defined by the law having the legislative power, and only if the Congress authorizes such punishments. Crimes ought to be definite in a punitive ruling with appropriate definiteness and certainty. The necessity of the constitution of the due bylaw process is dishonored by a criminal law which fails to provide an individual of common intellect fair, appropriate note that the alleged behavior is prohibited by the law.

Everyone who has been accused has the right to all or any of the defenses that the law permits or recognizes. These among them are self-defense, mistake or fact, or insanity, thus enabling them decides by them which one they should rely on. The fact that an individual can undertake a crime as the agent or on the advice of the other is not considered a defense form (Stephen & Smith, 2014). However, in the case of homicide, a practice which would constitute an offense otherwise may be exempted if committed under compulsion or duress which is impending, present, or imminent and the one which produces a better-rooted apprehension of a serious bodily harm or death if the act is not done. Ordinarily, religious beliefs are not an excuse or justification for the crime commission.

Procedures for the Criminal

Criminal case procedures are the same substantially throughout the U.S. The police officer takes into custody any individual suspected of a crime and the arrest warrant services also apply in some cases depending on the nature of the offense. For serious offenses, the case is presented first to the grand jury that draws up an indictment regarding sufficient evidence justifying the trial; it otherwise discharges the accused. The charged party may be bailed out while the action is pending (Stephen & Smith, 2014). The trial may be before a judge alone if a jury is not necessary or required or in the situation that a defendant consents. The authority presents its case via the district attorney, the public prosecutor, while counsels that the Court has chosen for them or that represent the accused they have selected by themselves. 

The legal innocence presumption puts on the prosecution the burden of proving accountability beyond logical doubt, unless if the defendant pleads guilty of the fault. Defendants may agree to appeal guilty because of plea-bargaining. Nevertheless, most United State criminal cases are settled in this manner before trials. Also, the special rules, which restrict evidence introduction in criminal trials, protect the defendant. When the accused is prejudged or found innocent they are discharged, however, when he or she is found guilty, the prosecutor or the judge pronounces the sentence (Semester, el at. 2016). An appeal may be filed in the case the defendant has been convicted while the prosecution cannot, however, request for an acquittal. In general, this course of action is restricted to misdemeanors, and felony; while less severe crimes are handled in a rundown manner.

The analytical techniques of social sciences are fundamentally employed in the criminal law department. The comparative criminal law took center stage of my study. A wider comprehensive comparison and assessment of the penal code was necessary in obtaining a proper understanding of the legal developments in the current world. The comparative legal research was aimed at spotting out the modern trends in the divergence and convergence of the legal systems around the globe.

The common processes in right policy and criminal laws, achieving a better grasp of regional and local developments in the comprehensive picture of the events occurring around the globe placed the criminal law comparison analysis the best method to conduct the study on criminal law and legal systems around the world, especially in the United States. The goal was to generate and develop comprehensive doctrines by criminal law due to the global developments and challenges in the construction of concepts and theory systems of the criminal law.

Case study life history of the criminal law in the United States was also a major method of research. There exist several examples of criminology, which have produced significant, baseline information which was relevant to the field of criminal law which has been my research topic.

My research surveyed several penal law offenses and their appropriate jurisdictions. The system helped in identifying the proper order patterns, which exists, and their right course of actions. It was efficient particularly in determining the classification of criminal cases, and the punishments associated therein.

The criminal law is worth study since it serves many benefits and purposes in the society in various ways. It helps in to maintain order by providing predictability thus enlightening people on what to expect from others, and its absence would lead to the emergence of uncertainty and chaos. The law helps in conflict resolution by making it possible to resolve disputes and conflicts among quarreling citizens by offering orderly and peaceful means of handling grievances. Criminal laws also protect people and their property. 

It is responsible for shielding citizens from criminals whose intentions are to inflict physical or mental torture through taking their possessions since the laws are intended to punish people who steal. Lastly, the criminal laws enable function and operation of the society by enabling the government to control pollution, collect taxes and in accomplishing other tasks that are of social benefit not leaving out the importance of protecting civil liberties through safeguarding of the people’s rights. Criminal laws are thus very significant in the current society setup and should be studied intensely to enable understanding of the legal systems involved therein.

The study of the criminal laws should focus on establishing universally acceptable and appropriate procedures, which are significant to defendants, and they should be designed such that they guarantee a constitutional process for those involved in the crime. Only a few states have established procedures in place of ensuring that the fundamental constitutional rights of the defendants are protected. The issue calls for every state or individual to take action in ensuring that correct procedures are created and published and thus the society will be a better place worth living in.



Clinard, M. R., Quinney, R., & Wildeman, J. (2014). Criminal behavior systems: A typology. Routledge.

Dressler, J. (1995). Understanding criminal law. Matthew Bender.

Simester, A. P., Spencer, J. R., Stark, F., Sullivan, G. R., & Virgo, G. J. (2016). Simester and Sullivan's criminal law: theory and doctrine. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Stephen, J. F., & Smith, K. J. M. (2014). Selected Writings of James Fitzjames Stephen: A General View of the Criminal Law. Oxford University Press, USA.

Werle, G., & Jessberger, F. (2014). Principles of international criminal law. OUP Oxford.


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