Presentation on theme: "Chapter 15: Section 2 & Section 3. Criminal Law Aimed at preventing harm to people and property. In the courts, there is an ‘adversary system’: –Each."— Presentation transcript:
Criminal Law Aimed at preventing harm to people and property. In the courts, there is an ‘adversary system’: –Each lawyer presents the strongest case for its side. –The judge is supposed to be impartial In criminal cases, government is always the plaintiff: –the party that brings charges against the accused.
Criminal Law The accused is called the defendant Two ‘grades’ or levels of crimes: –Felonies: crimes with serious consequences for the victim; includes rape, murder, arson, etc. –Misdemeanors: typically less serious; includes vandalism and theft of inexpensive items. Punishable by fines or jail terms of less than a year Crimes against property are the most common (illegally taking it or destroying it).
Criminal Law Three types of stealing: –Larceny: the unlawful taking away of another person’s property with no intent to return it. –Robbery: the taking of a person’s property by force or threats (often with a weapon). –Burglary: Unlawful entry into a ‘dwelling’ or ‘structure’ with the intent to commit a crime.
Civil Law Concerns disputes between people or groups when no laws have been broken. When a civil case goes to court, it’s called a lawsuit. People must take the initiative to file a lawsuit. Often times, lawsuits are about contracts (written, spoken, or implied).
Civil Law Tort Law: –Tort: a civil wrong –For example, a person is injured and claims that another party is responsible. Family Law: –Regulated by state law –Involves divorce, child custody, abuse, etc.
Other Types of Laws Constitutional Law: –Law that deals with the formation, construction, and interpretation of constitutions. –Cases about constitutional law helps decides the limits of gov’t power and the rights of the individual. Administrative Law: –Refers to the rules and regulations the executive branch must make to carry out its job.
Other Types of Laws Statutory Law: –Involves statutes, or laws written by any legislative branch of the gov’t –Statutes may include speed limits, food inspection rules, and even the right to return merchandise to a store.
Legal Rights in the Constitution Stare Decisis: –The process of using rulings in earlier cases to build decisions about similar cases in the future. –Latin for “let the decision stand.” Writ of Habeas Corpus: –A writ is a written legal order –Requires officials to bring people to court and explain why they are being held.
Legal Rights in the Constitution No bills of attainder: –These are laws that punish the accused without a trial or a fair hearing. No ex post facto laws: –A law that punishes a person for something that was not illegal when it was committed. Due Process of Law: –Gov’t may not take lives, liberty, or property without the ‘proper exercise of the law’. –Guaranteed by the 5 th and 14 th amendments.
Rights of the Accused 4 th Amendment: –protects against unreasonable searches and seizures –Requires a search warrant (judges authorization) 5 th Amendment: –protects against self-incrimination and double jeopardy 6 th Amendment: –Right to be defended by a lawyer –Right to a speedy, fair trial by an impartial jury.
Rights of the Accused Plea bargaining – a negotiation between the defense attorney and the prosecutor (gov’t’s attorney) –Because of this, most trials do not come to court 8 th Amendment: –Protects against: Cruel and unusual punishments Excessive bails and fines –Bail: a sum of money an arrested person pays to a court to win release from jail while awaiting trial