Everything you need to know about criminal law.

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Criminal Law Explained

What is Criminal Law?

Image of hands in handcuffs.
Criminal law is a system of law that deals with those who commit crimes. It regulates social conduct and keeps law-abiding citizens safe from people who could endanger their health, safety, or moral welfare. Most criminal lawyers work in cases concerning crimes committed against the public; civil law regards crimes committed by one person against another. (Murder is a criminal offense, while violating a contract is a civil offense.) There are three types of criminal law violations: treason, misdemeanors, and felonies. Treason threatens national security, misdemeanors are fairly minor crimes, and felonies are serious crimes with more severe sentences.

Do I Want to Be a Lawyer?

Image of man and woman in business conversation.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before pursuing a law degree.
Can I be empathetic with a client, yet objectively analyze their issues?
Am I good at explaining complex legal terms in a simple way for clients to understand?
Will I be able to interpret an issue and analyze it?
Do I spending my time reading and studying?
Am I detail-oriented?
Will I be able to argue both sides of a situation?
Can I be an advocate and argue my client's case factually but with passion?

Criminal Law Reform

Image of man smiling in front of laptop.

The Criminal Law Reform Project's goal is to revolutionize the unnecessarily harsh crime policies in America. Its advocates work to lower the amount of people sentenced to jail and prison time by changing drug policies, and bringing to light police and prosecutor misconduct. Advocates believe that the drug policies that lead to mass incarceration are too stringent; that targeting small amounts of marijuana possession is a waste of resources; and that police practices could be improved. They state that 25 to 50 years in prison is too severe for the crime at hand.