Criminal Law is a branch of law which tries “to safeguard the citizenry from each other and protect the individual as he or she participates in society.” It is a broad subject, that is primarily enforced by criminal courts. SoCal Criminal Law deals with such things as;
1. Property Crimes
This area of law deals with the illegal taking of goods or property. The most common types of crimes in this category are: larceny, theft, burglary, robbery, arson and vandalism. Property crime is a broad term for the large number of crimes that deal with the illegal taking or receiving of another person’s property. The words “property crime” refers to crimes other than those involving physical harm to people such as assault, rape and murder.
2. Violent Crimes
This area of law deals with violent behavior; that is, personal attacks on other people. Crimes in this category are: murder and manslaughter, assault, rape and sexual abuse.
3. Drug Crimes
This area of law deals with the illegal use and sale of drugs. The most common types of crimes in this category are: drug possession, drug use (or “abuse”), dealing and trafficking. Criminal drug laws in California include the use of illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
4. Sex Crimes
This area of law deals with crimes against personal integrity, including rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse. Crimes in this category are: rape and sexual assault, pedophilia, oral copulation with a child under the age of 14 and fornication by force or threat.
5. Juvenile Crime
This area of law deals with crimes committed by minors. Crimes in this category include: drug abuse, gang activity and street violence. This category may also deal with crimes committed by adults under the age of twenty-one. These crimes are usually called “serious” crimes, because they involve violence or the use of a weapon.
6. White Collar Crime
This area of law deals with the commission of a crime when the perpetrator has the capacity to commit it because he or she wields authority in society. Crimes in this category are: embezzlement, fraud and tax evasion.
7. Sentencing and Punishment
This area of law deals with the punishment for a crime, other than imprisonment; such as fines, probation and community service. Crimes in this category are: elder abuse and child abuse. Also, crimes in this category are sex offenses against children; such as child molestation or incest. Crimes in this category are also sexual offenses against adults; such as rape or indecent exposure/indecent exposure to a minor under the age of 14.