Two laws that are the same are criminal law and penal law. Punishment under these laws is often harsh. Penalties differ between jurisdictions and offenses. General penalties include: probation, parole, fines, execution or imprisonment.
The first society to write their criminal codes was the Sumarians. Criminal and civil laws were not divided at the time.
Criminal laws have strict punishments when the laws are not followed. A person can be imprisoned, even at home. The term of imprisonment in the prison system can be life. With house arrest, probation and parole departments set requirements that must be followed. Convicted persons may also loose property and money.
Restitution, retribution, deterrence, incapacitation and punishment are five methods to punish criminals. Jurisdictions have different laws regarding punishment.
Public International Law goes into effect when a heinous crime involves an entire area and society. These laws came about after World War 2 with the Nuremburg Trials. Sovereign immunity does not apply because the individuals were found guilty for their roles, even though it was ordered by their government.
Creating a fear of punishment is how most laws are enforced.
Detrimental behaviors may be prohibited by criminal law. A physical element, the act of carrying out the crime, must be present for a crime to have happened. Lack of intervention, threatening behavior or committing a crime has to happen. Guilty act, or actus reus, is the legal terminology. Neglect can be considered an actus reus if an individual is entrusted with the safekeeping of another. Good Samaritan Laws apply for certain situations that a person may cause.
A guilty mind or mens rea is needed for strict liability crimes such as a regulatory offense. Reason being is these crimes have harsh punishments.
Actus reus and mens rea are necessary for certain crimes. Both have to be present at the exact same time.
If an individual would have been hurt regardless of a person’s actions, then actus reus is does not apply. If an individual runs a red light and injures person, actus reus does apply because the injury was a result of an intentional act.
Motive and intention are different. With a guilty mind, or mens rea, the intentional violation of the law applies. Criminal acts are not voided by good intentions.
If an individual recognizes the risk of a behavior but continues anyway, mens rea is established. This is called recklessness. Courts usually take into account if the individual ought to have known the risk or not. Intent is voided when an individual ought to have known the risk but did not. This situation has resulted in mens rea being reduced in some areas of the law.
Intent affects the gravity of an act. If the intent is to kill or inflict bodily harm that may cause death, it is murder. Recklessness that results in death may be manslaughter. Who is injured does not matter. If the intent is to strike someone but, someone else is struck, intent is reassigned to that person. Transferred malice is established.
Civil law employs strict liability. It is damage caused by an individual regardless of mens rea or intent. Precise intent is not necessary for all crimes.
Penal law is primarily applicable to murder. Jurisdictions can have several types of murder. If intent and malice are there then it is first degree murder. Without malice it is manslaughter. Mental problems or irritation are the cause in many cases. Negligence that causes death is involuntary manslaughter in some states.
Settled insanity is a probably defense.
Criminal responsibility may result from assault and battery. One form of battery is rape.
Trespassing, conversion, embezzlement, theft and robbery are covered under penal law.
Charges can be file if a crime is known about or if there is a conspiracy. Completion of the act does not have to happen. Conspiracy, attempt, abetting and aiding fall into this category.