Criminal law is the law which deals with crimes and the punishments that may pertain to the crime committed. Often, criminal law is considered penal law. Criminal punishments that pertain to criminal law include: parole, probation, fines, jail time, or even execution. Criminal law is enforced, regulated, and created by the Government. Criminal law includes punishment for criminal acts such as: murder, homicide, assault, battery, rape, sexual abuse, theft, fraud, and conspiracy acts.
1) Criminal law instills five objectives through criminal punishment. These objectives include:
2) Retribution, meaning the criminal should pay the consequences;
3) Deterrence, meaning the criminal will not commit the act again;
4) Incapacitation, or keeping the criminal away from society;
5) Rehabilitation, or the transformation of the criminal so that they are fit for society; and
6) Restitution, meaning to repair any victims of the criminal act.
When a person is being charged with an act that is illegal as per criminal law, the court must prove actus reus, or the guilty act, and mens rea, which is the guilty mind.