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The criminal code Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey these laws. Criminal law is to be distinguished from civil law.
The Structure The Criminal Code is structured into chapters, which in turn are divided into articles and then one or more clauses within each article. American criminal law is codified in fifty-two criminal codes. The federal criminal code overlays the codes of each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia.
The Structure Under the U.S. Constitution, the power to impose criminal liability is reserved primarily to the states, with federal authority limited to the prohibition and punishment of those unusual crimes specially related to federal interests. The vast bulk of most crimes and essentially all “street” crimes—homicide, rape, robbery, assault, and theft—fall under jurisdiction of one of the fifty state criminal codes or the code of the District of Columbia.
The major chapters Offences against the Living Family Offences against Property Offences against Public Decency and Public Morals Offences against Public Health and Public Safety Offences against Public Justice Offences against Public Security and Public Order Offences against the Society Offences against Finance and Trade
Classification of punishment All the legal forms of punishment available to the courts as just sentence under this Code, regardless of whether the principle of absolution or penitence is applied, shall be categorized into the following four groups: • Compulsory actions • Compulsory recompense • Deprivation of privileges • Deprivation of rights
Compulsory actions Compulsory works is the order by the court of the convicted criminal defendant to undertake certain actions as part of their sentence including (but not restricted to): • Compulsory Works • Service in a Disciplinary Unit • Corrective Labour • Victim reconciliation
Deprivation of privileges Deprivation of privileges is the forced restriction of the privileges of a convicted criminal defendant as sentence for their crime(s), including (but not restricted to): • Restricted Liberty • Deprivation of Liberty for a Definite Term • Deprivation of Liberty for Life
Deprivation of rights Deprivation of rights is the forced restriction of the rights of a convicted criminal defendant as sentenced for their crime(s), including (but not restricted to): • Deprivation of the right to hold specified offices or to engage in specified activities; • Deprivation of a special and military rank or honorary title, class rank and of government decorations; • Confiscation of Property
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