Criminal Law: All You Need To Know

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The intention behind implementing Laws is to protect the nationwide public. Establishing a Criminal Law in the state corroborates that each individual recognizes limits and regulations on public demeanour.

Criminal Law is the foundation of administering crime. It works against individuals or groups that initially become prepotent to the rest of the society by vandalizing individual or government property, harming locals and causing inimitable damage.

When a person commits an offence or is allegedly held accountable for a felony, they are undertaken by the Law to prosecute necessary punishment, rehabilitation, or declare them above suspicion.

Elements Of the Criminal Law in the USA

Criminal Law has the following divisions. 

  • Actus Reus
  • Mens Rea 

Actus Rea 

The word is Latin for “guilty act”. It hints at the external elements of a crime, relating to the physical body in the act of committing the injustice. Actus Rea hints at the negligence of action. The individual makes this action against someone or something that derelicts their legal obligations.

It involves both intentional and unintentional means of initiation. The act can also be involuntary. However, legal consideration and proof of Actus Rea requires evidence of an action taken.

Mens Rea 

The word Mens Rea is Latin for “guilty mind”. It involves the awareness or knowledge of predictable consequences and intentional actions taken to achieve them. Impediment or negligence in following legal responsibilities incorporated in this rule of the Law. 

It also includes the doctrine of transferred malice which transferred the Mens Rea from the intended victim to the apparent one. Mens Rea is a critical part of criminal justice. 

Types Of Crimes

Following are the types of crimes that fall under Criminal Law. 

  • Felony 
  • Misdemeanour 
  • Statutory Crimes 


Felonies are considered the most severe offences conducted against humanity. It includes: 

  • Murdering an individual or mass murder
  • Kidnapping 
  • Committing fraud  
  • Stealing handsome amounts 
  • Tax evasion 
  • Blackmail 
  • Treason 
  • Obstruction of Justice

There are many more forms of a felony. These acts fall under the category of mens rea, intentionally or purposely acting against the Law. That’s why the punishment for committing such crimes is severe in every state globally. 


Misdemeanours are a lower category of crimes that do not cause massive damage. This discernibly reduces the extremity of retribution. Following acts are known as misdemeanours:

  • Trespassing 
  • Trivial theft 
  • Minimum assaults 
  • Improper driving 
  • Stalking 
  • Battery 
  • Unruly behaviour 
  • Disorderly public intoxication

Statutory Crimes 

These crimes relate to minor possession of illicit items. Retribution suffered as a result of these offences is the bare minimum of punishments against felonies. 

Following is the list of statutory crimes. 

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) 
  • Selling alcohol to underage people. 
  • Public intoxication 
  • Underage DUI 
  • Minor in drug possession. 

Criminology And Criminal Justice

Since both of these professions deal with criminal and Law enforcement, they are often confounding as the same. The difference is evident once you look into the responsibilities of criminal justice and criminology. 

Criminal Justice 

Criminal justice involves all aspects of the crime, including the trial and judgement announced at the end. It covers all areas of the justice system. Criminal justice lawyers like Aswani Datt represent the defendant in court and gather potential evidence to support the case, making sure justice is served as a result. 


Criminology deals with the mental state of the perpetrator. It involves studying the reasons and circumstances behind the venture. Criminologists devise ways to prevent illegal preterite from occurring in the future. They take a more psychological approach towards the case. This procedure leads to the creation of criminal profiles that aid in solving similar criminal issues in the future.