Crimes happen everywhere, and student lawyers should always be updated with the current statistical data to be prepared to defend their future clients. For instance, the overall crime in the United States in 2020 is down at 5.3% in 25 large cities with 2% down in violent crimes as compared to 2019. However, murder case rate is higher at 16.1% than last year.
So, what do you need to know about criminal cases aside from what you hear or read in the news? Get a better understanding of criminal law and criminal cases to be guided accordingly.
Criminal cases and civil cases may overlap. On the one hand, crimes are offenses against the state and are prosecuted by the state even if only one person was harmed. On the other hand, civil cases involve disputes regarding the legal responsibilities owed by one person, company, or entity to another adjudicated by filing civil lawsuits.
Here are the differences between a civil case and a criminal case:
A crime can be proven through either of the two. First, there must be a guilt act or actus reus and a guilty mind or mens rea. Some types of crimes don’t require proof for a guilty mind, which are called strict liability crimes. In a guilt act, there must be a voluntary and free act and a consequent result.
However, there are exceptions to this requirement, known as omissions. The three elements of the crime of omission include the duty of care, breach of duty, and the connection between the harm suffered and the breach of duty. If a duty is impossible, a breach of duty won’t occur.
Check the following examples involving liability by omission:
Crimes come in different forms, causing physical and psychological harm and tragedy to victims. The following are different categories of crimes.
a. Violent Crimes
Violent crimes result in actual physical force, a form of threat, or attempted harm against a person or property. Some examples of violent crimes include non-negligent manslaughter and murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, and robbery.
Here are other examples of violent crimes:
b. Alcohol-Related Crimes
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is an alcohol-related crime which involves driving while drunk. Some DUI cases involve drug use. A driver can be charged with this crime for being physically or mentally impaired while driving a vehicle.
Other alcohol-related crimes include violation of liquor laws, including local or state ordinances prohibiting the manufacturing, selling, transporting, purchasing, or using of alcoholic beverages.
c. Drug Abuse Violations
Some examples of drug abuse crimes include unlawful possession of illicit drugs, manufacturing and sale of synthetic and narcotic drugs like Demerol and methadone.
d. Property Crimes
Property crimes are not intended on individuals, but on properties. Mostly, no casualties or injured victims are involved except for arson cases.
Here are the types of property crimes:
False information or misrepresentation constitutes fraud. It could result in financial losses, such as identity theft, inheritance scam, or lottery scam.
f. Offenses Against Family
The most common family offenses include violent acts committed by a legal guardian or family member. Offenses against family could endanger the person’s physical, mental, and economic well-being, such as hitting a child. Sex offenses and assault are also considered offenses against family.
g. Disorderly Conduct
These actions cause disorder or public disturbance without presenting serious public danger. Any behavior that’s morally shocking and could cause a public scandal is considered disorderly conduct.
You’ve just learned the differences between a civil case and a criminal case. You’ve also learned about the different types of crimes and how you can prove liability by omission as a case of crime. With the examples of criminal cases discussed above, you’re now more confident talking about criminal law in class and your legal trial practices as a student lawyer.