Criminal law is the system of law relating to crime committed by individuals against other people and, theoretically, the state or the community in general. Criminal law is one of the oldest areas of law in existence and the principles of criminal law are one of the most certain and settled areas of law because the principles have had such a long period to develop. Criminal law is also the type of law that most people think of because of the image that television has given the law over the years. Criminal law deals with some of the most serious crimes which are committed in a community such as murder, manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and assault and also relates to some of the less violent areas of crime such as fraud, theft and other types of property crimes or white collar crime.
In the classical theoretical sense, criminal law involves a prosecution by the state of a crime against the individual and the individual must defend themselves against the charges brought by the prosecutors. The charges in common law system must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt which is a much higher standard of proof than the standard required for civil liability which is decided on the balance of probabilities. Also, indictable offences in Australia are generally heard before a jury. However, there is generally not a jury trial in a case of civil liability. Theoretical issues aside, criminal law involves some of the the most serious legal issues which arise in our community.
How can a criminal law solicitor help me?
If you are the victim of a crime, you can benefit from the advice of a solicitor in relation to victims compensation programs and the way to refer a matter to the police. If you have been charged with a criminal, you will certainly benefit from the legal advice of a professional who can assist you to understand what your pleading might be, what sentencing options might be considered by the court and if there are any points in your favour which might lead to your acquittal or a reduced sentence.