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Criminal law pertains to prosecution by a government entity of an individual for an act that is deemed a crime by statute. As opposed to civil law, which is characterized by individuals and organizations seeking to resolve disputed legal issues, criminal law seeks to punish someone for a wrongdoing that they have intentionally committed against a person, persons or entity.
This begs the question of, what is a crime?
Crime is generally termed as any given act that violates public law. It may also include the act of omission as well, which would be failing to act according to public law. There may be a wide variance when it comes to criminal laws from state to state. What may be a crime in one state may not be contained in the criminal law of another state.
There are some common crimes established by federal, state and local laws. Some common types of crimes that would be found in most all state criminal law would include misdemeanor offenses, like jaywalking or simple theft. Criminal law could also encompass more serious crimes such as murder, armed robbery and kidnapping.