United States law falls into one of two major categories: criminal law and civil law. Civil law involves disputes about non-criminal matters such as property, financial compensation for an injury or other wrongs, and civil contracts. By contrast criminal law involves legal cases that could result in jail time, hefty fines, or both. Individuals who are accused of a legal crime need to find a knowledgeable, skillful criminal attorney to defend them.
The High Stakes Involved in Criminal Law
Criminal law involves intrinsically high stakes. Suspects who are convicted could face jail time, mandatory rehabilitation or treatment for an addiction, community service, probation, or fines. Those who are accused and convicted of felony class crimes may be ineligible to hold certain future jobs, purchase or own firearms, or even vote in political elections. Furthermore these restrictions are likely to last a lifetime, even long after the individual has served his or her time. Suspects convicted of sexual offenses may also need to registers when moving to a new area and may also be barred from holding certain jobs. In addition to all of these tangible, explicit penalties there is also often a high degree of social stigma attached to being convicted of a crime.
Possible Consequence of a Criminal Conviction
- Jail time
- Community service
- Mandatory rehabilitation or treatment
- Restricted liberties
- Reduced future options
- Life-long mark on record
- Social stigma
It is important for those accused of a crime to realize that the stakes are just as high even if they are innocent. The United States justice system is one of the fairest and most unbiased in the world. However, there is no denying that occasional wrongful criminal convictions do occur. Thus it is crucial for anyone accused of a crime to recognize that regardless of innocence they are facing a potentially life-changing, extremely serious situation.
Types of Criminal Charges
There are of course a huge array of different types of criminal charges on the books. Many crimes are illegal everywhere. However, different countries, states, and municipalities may have different laws and thus also different crimes. Additionally it is important to realize that ignorance of a law’s existence does not excuse a suspect from the crime. What follows is a brief, non-comprehensive list of some of the many different types of a criminal charges a suspect could be faced with depending on his or her particular situation.
Common Types of Criminal Charges
- Narcotics charges
- Theft charges
- Child abuse
- Domestic abuse
- Sexual assault
- Indecent exposure
- Probation violations
- Burglary and robbery
- Drunk driving
- Suspended or revoked driver’s license
- Tax evasion
- Corporate theft
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
While all of this may seem bleak, a fundamental part of the American system of justice is that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty. This means that the burden of proof is not on the suspect to prove that he or she did not commit the crime, but rather it is on the prosecution to prove, and to prove beyond reasonable doubt, that the suspect committed the crime. Furthermore, everyone is entitled to a fair trial regardless of the circumstances. Every criminal case is different. Each has its own set of challenges and obstacles for the defense. However, each case also has its own opportunities and it is important not to lose hope.
Dies & Parkhurst Are Experts Criminal Law Attorneys
The attorneys at the law firm of Dies & Parkhurst are experts in Texas criminal law. We are committed to ensuring that every one of our criminal law clients is represented to the very highest standard of legal skill. We will help our clients by formulating a criminal defense and legal strategy, advising them on pleas, and obtaining witness testimony, including expert witnesses when relevant. Every client is entitled to a fair trial and the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law. Dies & Parkhurst will ensure that each of clients gets that right.