Understanding Criminal Law

Understanding Criminal Law: How to Break down the Criminal Laws


When faced with a criminal charge, it is always useful to conduct your own research and to come to understanding the law under which one has been accused. You should read the law in the same way as the prosecutor. Lawyers are trained to read the law and determine what are the “elements” of the crime. To do this yourself, you must take each sentence and break that out into its fundamental components. For example, here is a traditional law on stealing from home:

“The raid on illicit of a person’s home for the night, with the intent to commit a crime inside the property, regardless of whether the offence was committed or not.”

The key question to ask to understand a criminal law is: “if this had not happened, does it have any importance?” If it has importance, then it is an element; if it is an irrelevant detail, it is not.

  • The first necessary element of this law is that there must be a “breaking and riding”. After all, entering a dwelling-house by invitation would not be an illegal entry.
  • The element is that it must be the “dwelling of another person”. If one enters the air force in its own housing, it would not be a crime.
  • The third element is that all of this takes place “by night”. Although it is not part of the majority of the laws on the second-degree burglary, was the traditional way of defining it.
  • The fourth element of the crime is that it is entering the dwelling of another person “with the intent to commit a crime inside the building.” If you enter by force in the housing of another by mere accident (as for example, if you thought it was your own home) or for some purpose other than to commit a crime, would not be committing a second-degree burglary (but you might commit another crime).
  • The final element can be considered as a modification of the fourth. When you say: “regardless of whether the offence was committed or not”, the act clarifies that what matters is the “intention,” true of committing a crime, not the actual commission of the crime. After all, we don’t want anyone to be free for a crime simply because he was incompetent and really could not commit the crime.

Understand the criminal law, and how to break down a law, it is essential to understand your rights and ensure you receive a fair trial. The process of the criminal law can be very difficult with a lot of stress. If charged for a crime, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately to protect and analyze their rights.

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