Criminal Punishment

Criminal laws are developed by the federal, state and local governments to determine which actions will be classified as unlawful. In the United States certain actions have been determined to be dangerous for United States citizens. Any action which has been labeled a crime and is deemed dangerous can have punishments ranging from fines to imprisonment or even death.

Each state has a set of criminal laws which govern that state and these criminal laws can be unique to that state. These laws will determine the type of punishment you receive for a criminal act. If you have committed a crime it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney familiar with the laws of your state to represent you.

Criminal Charges

There are a wide variety of actions that can be considered criminal. A few of the different types are listed below. If you have committed one of these Crimes contact a criminal defense attorney to determine your state's criminal laws and receive information on the steps that need to be taken.

  • Violent Crimes -- Murder, Assault and Battery, Terrorist attacks
  • Sexual Crimes -- Rape, Incest, Sexual Battery, Solicitation, Child Abuse
  • Drug Crimes -- Distribution, Drug Trafficking, Drug Manufacturing
  • Alcohol Crimes -- Driving While Intoxicated, Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • White Collar Crimes -- Fraud, Embezzlement, Counterfeiting, Forgery, Bribery, Tax Evasion, Healthcare Fraud

Punishment for Crimes

If you have been found guilty of a crime the punishment you will receive can vary depending on your mental state at the time the crime was committed, and your criminal background. Our criminal justice system seeks to punish crime in such a way that one of the following will be accomplished. The punishment will either: deter further crime, rehabilitate the criminal, give restitution to the victim, or incapacitate the criminal. The punishment that you receive will be determined by the type and severity of the crime you have committed.

  • Deter further Crime -- Many times the penalties given for certain crimes are to deter the criminal from committing further crime.
  • Retribution -- Criminals have forfeited their rights granted under the law if they commit a crime. For example if someone murders someone else they have forfeited their right to life and they may in some instances be put to death. Punishment for crimes will often try to "right the balance" of justice by causing an unpleasant disadvantage to a criminal.
  • Rehabilitation -- If a criminal can learn from their mistakes and learn to be a productive member of society who does not commit any additional crimes they have been rehabilitated.
  • Restitution -- Restitution seeks to restore something lost to the victim. This could occur by forcing a criminal to repay money stolen or repair damaged property. This often is combined with other punishments such as a prison term.
  • Incapacitate the criminal -- Incapacitating the criminal is usually done through imprisonment. This will isolate an offender and keep them from committing additional crimes. The death penalty or solitary confinement will also incapacitate a criminal.

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Unfortunately, the charges and types of sentencing you might face can vary by state and severity of the crime committed. Our judicial system can be very complicated and whether or not you are convicted of a crime or the amount of time served can vary greatly depending on the quality of your defense attorney. Regardless of the crime you have committed a Criminal Defense Attorney can help to get the charges dropped or lowered, ensure evidence is gathered legally, help with pre-trial investigative work and negotiate possible sentences. Yes, you do need a criminal defense attorney. Do not try to navigate the legal process alone.

Criminal Law Term of the Day


Battery is generally grouped with assault and is labeled assault and battery, although assault can involve the threat of physical force while battery requires actual physical contact.

Category: Criminal Law

Question of the Day

My 10 year old son has been charged with discharging a gun. What do I do?

If your minor son has been charged with a felony contact a lawyer immediately.

Category: Criminal Law

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