Basics Of Criminal Law

Criminal law is connected to crime, and its goal is to protect public safety and welfare from offenders. It also controls social behavior and punishes people who break the law. Punishment can vary from capital punishment or death penalty for serious crimes to imprisonment from a day to life. Convicts can be incarcerated in prison, or they can be sentenced to confinement. Another form of punishment are fines, where money or property is sought from a convict to repair the damage that was done.

Criminal Law Objectives

Criminal Law

Five criminal law objectives are widely accepted: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and restoration. Every of these objectives aims at guarding public safety and society in general.


Retribution aims at severe punishment for something seriously wrong that somebody else has done. This word means ‘payback.’


There are two types of deterrence: individual and general. Individual deterrence aims at the offender, and society at length is the aim of general deterrence. The objective of both of these is to discourage criminal behavior and prevent an individual or group of people from committing crimes.


The aim of incapacitation is to exclude a criminal or an offender from society. It can be done by putting them in prison or by the death penalty.


Rehabilitation aims at changing offender’s behavior and the way of thinking by convincing them that they have behaved badly. This objective can help offenders integrate into society and live a normal life.


Restoration is a type of objective which aims at victims. An offender has to make up for what he/she has done by repairing any injury or violation wreaked on the victim by the offender.


There must be a motive, and an intent underneath every crime and each of them must be proven. Crimes can be more or less serious, and they are divided into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. The former include serious misbehavior and are punishable by death or imprisonment. The latter include less serious crimes and are punishable by one year in prison or less. Criminal law deals with a wide range of offenses, such as inchoate offenses, offenses against the person, offenses against property, victimless crimes, offenses against animals.

Inchoate Offences

Inchoate offense or crime is a type of offense which is not yet been committed, but it is in a state of preparation. Inchoate offenses include an attempt, conspiracy, incitement, solicitation.