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Criminal Defense Law


What is a Felony - Crimes




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A felony, in many common law legal systems, is the term for a "very serious" crime; misdemeanors are considered to be less serious. Crimes which are commonly considered to be felonies include: aggravated assault, arson, burglary, murder, and rape. Those who are convicted of a felony are known as felons. Originally, felonies were crimes for which the punishment was either death or forfeiture of property. Nowadays, felons can receive punishments which range in severity; from probation, to imprisonment, to execution. Felons often receive additional punishments such as the loss of voting rights, exclusion from certain lines of work, and loss of firearm rights. In addition, some states consider a felony conviction to be grounds for an uncontested divorce.

Multiple felony convictions can result in longer than typical lengths of incarceration as with the Three strikes law.

The distinction between a felony and misdemeanor has been abolished by some common law jurisdictions (e.g. Crimes Act 1958 (Vic., Australia) s. 332B(1) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW., Australia) s. 580E(1) other jurisdictions maintain the distinction, notably those of the US. Those jurisdictions which have abolished the distinction generally adopt some other classification, e.g. in New South Wales, Australia, the crimes are divided into summary offences and indictable offences. Many US jurisdictions, which maintain the distinction between a felony and a misdemeanor, divide felonies into classes, e.g. class A felony, class B felony, etc.


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A crime is an act which violates a law of a government, nation-state, or jurisdiction, for which there is no successful defense. According to Western jurisprudence, there must be a simultaneous concurrence of both actus reus ("guilty action") and mens rea ("guilty mind") for a crime to have been committed; except in crimes of strict liability. In order for prosecution, some laws require proof of causality, relating the defendant's actions to the criminal event in question. In addition, some laws require that attendant circumstances have occurred, in order for a crime to have occurred. Also, in order for a crime to be prosecuted, corpus delicti (or "proof of a crime") must be established.

 A crime can be the action of violating or breaking the law, having the intention of doing so or helping others in the process; in some systems the simple association for organizing a crime is punished, even if the fact is not verified and usually for many crimes the attempt too is punished, even if the crime is not completed (in , e.g., the punishment can be half of that for the crime itself [1] Crimes are viewed as offenses against society, and as such are punished by the state. They can be scholastically distinguished, depending on the passive subject of the crime (the victim), or on the offended interest, in crimes against:

 the personality of the State

the rights of the citizen

the public administration

the administration of justice

the religious sentiment and the pity for dead

the public order

the public faith

the public economy, industry and commerce

the public morality

the person and honour

the patrimony

Or they can be distinguished depending on the related punishment (then, on the degree of offense that the forbidden behavior caused), in delicts and violations.

 In general, in most western systems, the definition of a crime requires the existing intention of committing it (voluntas necandi) in the author, therefore it is usually not punished when this intention is missing or when the author has not a complete mental sanity or is under a certain age.

 In many systems the penal responsibility is personal, and the retroactivity of the penal law is forbidden so that no one can be punished for a fact that the penal law didn't already describe as a crime at the moment in which the crime was committed.

 The definition of a crime generally reflects the current attitudes prevalent in a society. For example, possession of drugs was not always a crime, while the Prohibition Era made alcohol illegal.





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