When examining crime, it can sometimes be difficult to tell where to start. Distinguishing a crime from a non-crime can seem like a simple task, but the criminal justice system has several guidelines that answer the question, “What constitutes a crime”. This is the first and most fundamental question in all of the criminal justice system. It is of the utmost importance to determine who has committed a crime so, if found guilty, that individual can be punished and justice can be given to the victim. All crimes must be properly vetted to the maximum power of the law to keep a safe and civilized society, and all crimes have at least one thing in common, they all fit the seven basic principles of criminal law.
The seven basic principles of criminal law are the bedrock that the criminal law is founded on. Those principles are legality, conduct, harm, causation, mens rea, the concurrence requirement, and the punishment requirement. All of these standards must be met to determine if an action is indeed a crime or not. If even one standard is not met totally, then the action is not a crime. This does not necessarily mean that the action is socially acceptable or proper conduct though. Some of these actions are known as Torts. These Torts are non-punishable under criminal law, but may entitle the offended party to compensation such as money.
The criminal justice principles start with the concept of legality. Legality refers to the question of whether or not there is a law that has been broken. In order for an act to be considered illegal, it must violate a current criminal law. These laws come from court decisions known a “common law” and others come when “…the public demands protection against “new”...
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...e is also divided up by this principle, splitting crimes into categories from the least severe violations, to the most severe felonies.
After researching the process of criminal law, its importance to the criminal justice system is clear. The ability to differentiate crimes form non-crimes is paramount to a successful criminal justice system. If the system had no way to tell who committed a crime then it 's likely that accusations would skyrocket, clogging up and slowing down the system. This could also lead to many technically innocent people being accused and punished for things that aren 't true crimes. Also, the glut of cases and slow down of the system would likely cause many true criminals to go unpunished. When the importance of the principles of criminal law are noticed, it 's easy to see how integral they are to criminal justice and our society as a whole.
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