Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense

Criminal law is the body of law that relates to so-called “public wrongs.” Criminal law does not concern itself with disputes between individuals, but relates to offenses against the public order. The federal government, along with cities and states, define and prosecute people who commit crimes that range from minor traffic violations, to serious, violent offenses, like rape or murder. People who are charged with a crime are called defendants, and they are represented by criminal defense attorneys. The governmental body that pursues the charges against the defendant is represented by a lawyer called a prosecutor. If you find yourself charged with a crime, you need the legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney, to protect your rights now, and in the future.

The United States Constitution prohibits taking a person’s life, liberty, or property without the due process of law. In order to meet this standard, a criminal statute must clearly set out the conduct that will be considered criminal. The statute must be more than a vague description that leaves a person without notice of exactly what conduct is prohibited. A criminal statute must set out the state of mind of a guilty person, called the mens rea, as well as the unlawful action, orĀ actus reus. If you accidentally step on someone’s toes when you enter a crowded elevator, that is not a crime because there was no guilty mind. Fantasizing about stomping on your boss’s toes is not a crime because there is no guilty act. Crimes of attempt, like attempted murder, are not an exception to this rule. Attempt crimes require doing something toward the commission of the crime. A criminal defense attorney will be able to explain these terms to you, and to take away some of the mystery of an unfamiliar situation. Contact a DUI law firm in Wellington today.