The most efficient way to find out if you have a criminal case against someone, is to contact the police and an attorney. Some cases go unreported and without punishment, because the victim may not have been aware that they were victimized in the first place. Below are a few indicators that you may have a criminal case:
- You were intentionally physically harmed, or you were injured as a result of someone’s reckless actions;
- Your property was used or taken without your consent; and/or
- You agreed to something out of fraud, deceit, fear, or force.
If you have been harmed in any way, contact the police immediately. The sooner you do so, the more likely it is for law enforcement to apprehend the suspect.
It’s important to note that even if you contact the police, they have the right to not press charges. Ultimately it is up to the state, and if they feel that they do not have enough to charge and/or convict a person then they have every right to not pursue the case. If they do not pursue the case, then your next option is to sue the person in civil court.
What are Some Common Criminal Charges?
There are many criminal law issues. The most basic principle in criminal law is whether the crime was against the person or property. A crime against the person would involve charges like:
Whereas crimes against property would be:
- Breaking and entering;
- Trespassing; and
- Any other crimes that involve personal property (items) and real property (land, houses, etc.)
Some criminal law issues are directly related to others. For instance, if an individual who is not a citizen of the United States is charged with a crime, they may also be deported or face other immigration penalties. Another example would be the theft of someone’s intellectual property, in particular, a copyright violation. In this case, intellectual property laws are violated, and federal criminal charges may be filed.
How are Criminal Violations Punished?
The punishment for a criminal conviction depends on the crime. For minor misdemeanors, a defendant may be issued a fine and/or community service. For lesser charges, first-time offenders can receive “time served” which is when the defendant spent some amount of time in jail and will not need to return. They may also receive probation for a certain number of months to a year, depending on the charges.
As the severity of the nature of the crime increases, so do the penalties. Jail time or imprisonment is common for more serious charges. But the death penalty for the most serious of criminal charges are possible.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with a Criminal Case?
If you believe you may have a criminal case, contact a local criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to communicate with law enforcement, help you prepare any necessary evidence, and assist you throughout the legal process. Not only will an attorney help you with your criminal case, but he or she may also be able to help you sue the defendant in civil court.