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Criminal law notes

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    Criminal law notes Criminal law notes Presentation Transcript

    • Criminal Law Notes
    • I. 2 Main Forms of Law
      A. Civil Law--governs relationship between individuals or corporations in a society
      1. malpractice suits, ownership
      disputes, breach of contract, etc.
      2. The plaintiff usually seeks
      monetary damages
    • B.  Criminal Law
      1. Felony—serious criminal offense, may be
      punishable with prison for a year or more or
      by death
      a. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree
      b. Degrees of Murder
      i. 1st--premeditated (some degree of
      planning), and deliberated (done on
      purpose)
      ii. 2nd--only malice aforethought (intent
      to inflict serious bodily harm, or to act with
      wanton disregard for consequences
      of actions).
    • iii. Voluntary Manslaughter--
      homicide without malice (maybe
      during a sudden quarrel)
      iv. Involuntary Manslaughter-- Killings that result from negligence-- didn't mean to, but should have known
      better. (Mainly motor vehicle deaths.)
    • 2. Misdemeanor--any crime that is not a felony.
      Less serious.
      a. Gross misdemeanor--punishable
      by incarceration, usually in a local
      jail, for 30 days to 1 year.
      b. Petty misdemeanor—minor offense,
      less than 30 days in jail
      c. Violation--ticketable offense, doesn't
      go on criminal record.
    • II. Sources of Criminal Law
      A. Constitutional law
      1. Supreme law of the land
      B. Statutory law
      1. Enacted by legislative bodies
      2. Can be overturned by (A)
      C. Administrative Law
      1. rules and regulations from government agencies.
      a. price-fixing, health code violations, EPA violations…
      D. Case Law
      1. law made by court decisions based on their
      interpretations of the other laws
    • III. Final Note:
      Laws are subject to interpretation and may be
      modified as social norms change.
      a. You probably noticed in Helter Skelter
      that homosexual acts were considered
      criminal. The US Supreme Court struck
      down remaining “anti-sodomy” laws in
      2003. Such laws had already been
      repealed in 37 states.