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Criminal Law

Criminal Law Advocates

What is Criminal Law?

Criminal law is the branch of law that regulates the criminal liability of natural and juristic persons, which liability the State has an interest in prosecuting and punishing. Accordingly, this branch of law involves the adjudication and determination of individual and collective criminal responsibility, as well as the punishment of legal subjects who are convicted for violations of the law.

Criminal law generally focuses on the principles of law according to which criminal liability (guilt or innocence) is determined. Criminal procedure, together with the law of evidence, generally focuses on the procedures used to decide criminal liability and theories of punishment. These include the law and procedures relating to bail, pleas, sentencing, appeals and reviews. An accused is only criminally liable and subject to punishment if certain requirements are met. It must be proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that the accused committed wrongful and unlawful conduct which coincided with a culpable mental state. Wrongful and unlawful conduct requires conduct, in the form of an act or omission, which is voluntary and is wrongful/unlawful. A culpable mental state requires capacity and, for all serious crimes, some form of fault in the form of either intention or negligence.