It is one of the things that a criminal defense attorney studies in order to properly represent a client who has gone against the mandate of the constitution and is suspected of committing a heinous act. Criminal cases are differentiated from civil cases by merit of its objective – punishment.

Criminal law comprises a body of rules that define what actions are considered legal and what are not allowed as it is related to the endangerment of the safety and welfare of people. It is one of the things that a criminal defense attorney studies in order to properly represent a client who has gone against the mandate of the constitution and is suspected of committing a heinous act. Criminal cases are differentiated from civil cases by merit of its objective – punishment. This could be anything from retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and restitution.

In retribution, it is expected for criminals to suffer. This is how the law finds the fit to go through life after they’ve improperly taken advantage or caused another person an unfair disadvantage, to which the law will try to “balance the scales”. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” so they say. Now, one would assume that the law protects everyone. It does. But when a person does something that goes against it, he has automatically waived the rights to it and must then suffer judgment. And if this means being killed through the electric chair or imprisoned for life, then so be it.

Deterrence aim is to give a sufficient penalty in order to discourage the offender to go through the same offense again. It also aims to show an example to all members of the society at large. There are a standard number of years for incarceration with every crime committed. A criminal defense attorney can petition it to be lowered on the grounds of admission of guilt.

Now, incapacitation is not so much pursued to give supposed criminals penalty for their offenses, rather, it is completed to keep them away from society once they are found guilty of doing anything wrong. This not only protects all of its constituents but also assures that the criminal is not able to influence anyone else to go through the same activities as he did.

Rehabilitation primary goal meanwhile is to transform the offender into a valuable member of society. It aims to prevent any future offense by teaching him that a certain behaviour or way of thinking is unacceptable.

Finally, restitution is the victim’s revenge. Here, reparation of any damage or hurt experienced by the injured party is taken on by state authority on his behalf. Some elements of civil law may be incorporated into the consequence established as other goals of criminal justice are also implemented. The extent of jurisdiction of the criminal law is something a criminal defense lawyer familiarizes with prior to representing a case. He might draw references from the public international law and the Nuremberg trials; both being applicable for heinous acts and white collar crimes with domestic and international legal interpretation. The criminal law can cross-examine both groups and individuals on the stand and find guilt by account of certain elements – for example, by action (actus reus), thought (mens rea), or liability. Length and conditions of the incarceration may depend on the verdict and fines as well as the seizure of properties may also be imposed.