Criminal Law Truths That You Should Know, Part 1

Criminal law encompasses an entire body of statutes and rules that define conduct explicitly prohibited by the government, as it would threaten and harm public safety and welfare should such conduct be allowed. These rules and statutes also establish the degrees of punishment permissible for those who choose to (and are found guilty of) committing such acts.

Those who commit infractions against criminal law commit crimes. Crimes are categorized as felonies (‘major’ crimes) or misdemeanors (‘minor’ crimes), generally based on their nature and the punishment that could potentially be imposed against the offending party. Violations are considered lesser offenses than the aforementioned crimes and are usually punishable by fine or another lesser punishment.

When it comes to criminal law, there are truths that people don’t know about. They can, however, learn about those truths. In Part 1 of this article series, we are going to look at some criminal law truths you should know.

Criminal Law Truths You Should Know

People who may be subject to facing criminal charges have the right to know the truth about defending their rights. In fact, that is something that many criminal law lawyers help their clients realize as they tend to their cases.

Contact A Criminal Law Lawyer ASAP

If you have criminal charges, you should see a criminal law lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal law cases are time sensitive; waiting for any amount of time while those charges are pending could put you in bigger legal trouble than if you decided to get a lawyer ASAP.

When those deadlines pass, you may lose the right to essentially fight for your rights. Therefore, you cannot let the prospect of being charged to make you feel as if your case is not worth fighting for. In other words, you cannot let pride over take your reasoning if you are facing criminal charges.

You Cannot Fight On Your Own

It might seem tempting to defend yourself if you are facing criminal charges. However, that is never the right decision to make—you cannot protect yourself in a court of law without a skilled criminal defense lawyer at your side.

The prosecution and other parties present challenges for those who do not have any legal assistance. It makes it difficult to resolve your case and, notably, prevent you from reaching a fair deal, if you could even reach one at all.

Due to those challenges, it is critical that you get a criminal defense lawyer to help you with your case.

New Law Alleges Drop In DUI Cases

Various states have attempted to implement new laws to drop the number of DUI – driving under the influence – cases that happen each year. New Mexico might be on to something, however, as their new ignition interlock law has played a role in significantly reducing DUI cases within the state.

‘Under the influence’

Driving under the influence, also informally known as drunk driving, is a major offense that depicts the offending party operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (or, in some instances, another drug).

blood alcohol contentAlso known as a DUI, this criminal offense prosecutes those who drive while their blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit, often those set by their jurisdiction’s statutes.

These legal limits are those that do not permit people to drive with such as BAC level, as they (the offending driver) cannot drive safely while intoxicated. The legal limits vary between states, however most states set the legal limit between .08 to .10 in most instances.

‘Serious offenses’

In most countries, notably the United States, drunk driving is a serious offense as it puts other parties, including the driver, at serious risk of injury and even death. Those who are prosecuted for driving while drink, especially if they injury or kill another party, are subject to heavy fines and/or prison sentences for their crime.

Many jurisdictions also prosecute people who are found in physical control of a car while intoxicated. Even if they are not actually driving the vehicle, they are still subject to prosecution due to the weight of such a crime.

‘The new legislation’

New Mexico is now one of the first states to implement a new ignition interlock law for those who may be subject to driving while intoxicated. According to news sources this past September, these new laws have helped ‘reduce DUI cases by 40 percent in the state.’

Ignition interlock systems help prevent people from driving while drunk. The device is wired into the car’s ignition system, requiring the driver to blow into the device to measure their BAC. If their BAC is over the legal limit, the car will not start.

According to an ignition interlock specialist associated with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the laws have helped reduce ‘repeat offenders by as much as 40 to 80 percent.’ It also cut down on the amount of ‘people who would be subject to driving with suspended licenses in the state.’

Other states that have implemented the new law include Alabama. Alabama Legislature passed ignition interlock laws in April, which went into effect by August 1.