Life is full of laws we abide by to maintain peace, order, and harmony in our environment. By definition, the law is the system of rules countries and communities recognise to regulate the actions of its members. Without them, the world would be a disastrous and harmful place to live in. There are many kinds of laws in the world we live in. One of the law types that we value is criminal law.
Almost every day, the news is full of various issues that have happened or are happening across the globe. It’s rare to find or watch daily news without a criminal offence case on it. Criminal law goes beyond the typical heinous crimes we know of. It also has types that relate to offences with and without victims in the picture.
It’s a broad type of law that covers other areas we can witness in our daily lives. If you’re an aspiring lawyer who wants to specialise in criminal law, this post is for you. Read on to know more about it and its types.
Criminal law is the body of law that refers to criminal acts. Britannica defines criminal law as the law that defines criminal offences and regulates the suspects’ apprehension, charging, and trial. It is also the governing body that criminal lawyers follow for the penalties and modes of treatment that apply to the crimes of convicted offenders.
Purpose Of Criminal Law
Criminal law is one of the law types that protect an individual’s safety, security, and well-being in a society. It ensures that everyone can thrive and grow well without risking their safety. Its ultimate purpose is to provide people with a set of rules that identify legal and illegal behaviours.
Criminal law recognises someone who breaks and violates the law as an offender. An offence, on the other hand, is an action that violates the criminal law. Another purpose of criminal law is to support victims and to seek out justice for them by punishing their offenders accordingly. Overall, the purpose of criminal law is to guide the behaviours and expectations of people in a society.
Types Of Criminal Offences
Criminal law goes beyond the typical blood-shed crimes we know and hear about in the news. It has six types that explain why a particular act is illegal and how it is immoral. Here are its types.
Crimes Against A Person
Crimes against a person are offences that result in or cause bodily harm or mental anguish to another person. There are two classifications of crimes against a person, which are homicide and violent crimes. Homicide is the term used to refer to the act of killing a human being or murder. Types of homicide are the following:
- First-degree murder
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Vehicular homicide
Violent crimes refer to brutal acts where an offender uses or threatens their victim to use a harmful force. Here are the types of violent crimes:
- Assault and battery
- Child abuse
- Domestic abuse
- Rape and statutory rape
Crimes Against A Property
Crimes against property do not include offences harming another person. It covers issues regarding defacing, destroying, or stealing property, including the following:
- Grand theft
- Auto theft
- Destruction of property
Crimes Against Morality
Crimes against morality are often crimes that don’t include a victim. They are offences against morality but not committed against a person or property. They include the following:
- Illegal gambling
- Illegal drug use
- Indecent exposure
Statutory crimes are acts that the government established for the protection and betterment of society. They include:
- Driving under the influence
- Boating under the influence
- Drug possession
- Public intoxication
- Reckless driving
- Drug cultivation and manufacturing
Financial/White Collar Crimes
Financial crimes often include financial matters and happen typically in the corporate or business world. Most of these are non-violent but can cause people and other companies to suffer immense money-related issues. Some of these are:
- Insider trading
- Securities fraud
- Investment fraud
- Tax evasion
- Identity theft
- Money laundering
Inchoate crimes are one of the criminal offences we see in creative movies where a protagonist gets punished for a crime he did not commit. The reason for that is that inchoate crimes define offences that were initiated but not completed. They are also crimes that offenders undertake in the commission of another crime. It also refers to the act of conspiring to commit a crime. Some of its types are:
- Aiding and abetting
Criminal Law Goes Beyond Murder And Other Blood-Related Crimes.
Aside from crimes against a person like homicide and violent crimes, criminal law covers and concerns other issues that most people are unaware of. Knowing the classifications of criminal law will educate you on the immoral acts you see in movies, TV shows, or the ones you read in books. If you aspire to be a lawyer, knowing this will help you decide whether criminal law is the best law type for you.