Criminal Law – Top Things Everyone Needs to Know

Criminal law is a serious problem and should be treated accordingly. Whether you, or someone you know and care about, are being suspected or investigated for a crime, or you want to gain some knowledge about this matter, then keep on reading this article. You will find out about the top things one must know when dealing with criminal law.

The Criminal Mind vs. The Criminal Act

The first thing you should know about criminal law is that it covers two aspects, the criminal act itself and the intention behind the crime. You can have a criminal case where someone has been attacked, and to save their lives, they killed the perpetrator and a criminal case where someone plans a meticulous crime to kill someone, but the plan fails, and the one attacked survives.

Both these scenarios deal with crime, but their outcome can be very different. If, in the first case, it is proven that the survivor killed the attacker as a matter of self-defense, then little to no punishment will be sought by the prosecution. If, on the other hand, the person in the second scenario is proven guilty of even trying to murder someone willingly, then the prosecution will look for the biggest punishment for the criminal. Both acts are criminal, but the difference between a criminal act and a criminal mind should be taken into consideration.

Know Your Rights

The second thing one must know is their rights. You should know that if you become the suspect of a crime, then you have the right to a lawyer. Next to that, you should know that everything you say can and will be used against you later on in court. It is best if you refrain from making any declarations before consulting your lawyer.

Types of Crimes

Whether you are a civilian or a suspect, you want to make sure you know what the types of crimes are. They are divided into two categories: misdemeanors, or the less serious crimes, and felonies, or the more serious crimes. The distinction between the two might vary from one state to another, but generally, every crime with a punishment of at least one year is considered to be a serious crime, a felony.

Some of the most commonly encountered felonies are murders, kidnapping cases, rape, robbery, and even arson. These can also appear as a combination of two or more such crimes. The less serious crimes, misdemeanors are speeding, trespassing, vandalism, and so on.


The last thing you want to know about crimes is how they are being punished. Usually, someone found guilty will be sentenced with paying fines, for the less serious crimes, with time in jail, for the more serious one, with probation time, with doing community service or participating in drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs.

In conclusion, criminal cases are not to be taken lightly. So, if you or someone you know is looking into finding out more about this matter, you can contact a criminal defense attorney for further information.