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835 WordsSep 16, 20094 Pages
Criminologist, attorneys, and laypersons use many definitions of crime. We have developed the definition of crime from them. Crime is that which a democratically selected legislative body has determined to be unlawful activity. To be a criminal, one must have committed an unlawful act or failed to act in a manner required by law. Criminologist, attorneys, and laypersons use many definitions of crime. We have developed the definition of crime from them. Crime is that which a democratically selected legislative body has determined to be unlawful activity. To be a criminal, one must have committed an unlawful act or failed to act in a manner required by law. Criminality is said to occur when certain behaviors have been identified as criminals. It is this constancy of criminality within all regions of our nation and impacts of crime upon all levels of society that makes the problem of crime such a fascinating topic. We must understand the nature of crime, before we can first understand the nature of criminal law. Today many people would argue that determining what is criminal is still steeply based in religious and moral imperatives, the reality is that the decisions of those who pass laws determine what is criminal. Much of what is considered criminal behavior is either based on moral beliefs or social beliefs. Criminal law is the legal code that attempts to control public behavior by defining what constitutes a crime. There are two types of criminal law, substantive and procedural. Substantive law explains what is criminal and what the sanctions for violations will be. Substantive laws are commonly called felonies. A felony is any offense punished by more than one year in a state of federal prison. Misdemeanors are any offense punished by a fine or one year or less in a county jail. Procedural law regulates how to uphold or enforce substantive law. A variety

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