Help Line: 833-PLG-HELP   |   Nassau: 516-873-8783   |   Suffolk: 631-673-1000
Help Line: 833-PLG-HELP   |   Nassau: 516-873-8783   |   Suffolk: 631-673-1000

Corona Virus Alert: Are you in need of legal advice, but are in fear of contracting the corona virus? Please contact our office and schedule your virtual consultation.

Anuncio del Virus Corona: Necesita hablar con un abogado, pero tiene miedo de contratar el virus corona? Por favor contacte a Palacios Law Group para reservar una consulta virtual.

PLG Is More Than A Name
PLG is not just the name of our firm, but also an indicator of our commitment to Professional Legal Guidance. We offer this professionalism and integrity to every client we meet.

How Are Criminal Charges Handled?

Criminal law involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime.

Civil cases, on the other hand, involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. In a criminal case, the state, through a prosecutor, initiates the suit, while in a civil case, the victim brings the suit. Persons convicted of a crime may be incarcerated, fined or both. However, persons found liable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money but are not incarcerated.

A “crime” is any act or omission (of an act) in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Though there are some common law crimes, most crimes in the United States are established by local, state and federal governments. Criminal laws vary significantly from state to state. There is, however, a Model Penal Code (MPC) that serves as a good starting place to gain an understanding of the basic structure of criminal liability.

Crimes include both felonies (more serious offenses — like murder or rape) and misdemeanors (less serious offenses — like petty theft or jaywalking). Felonies are usually crimes punishable by imprisonment of a year or more, while misdemeanors are crimes punishable by less than a year. However, no act is a crime if it has not been previously established as such either by statute or common law. Recently, the list of federal crimes dealing with activities extending beyond state boundaries or having a special impact on federal operations has grown.

All statutes describing criminal behavior can be broken down into their various elements. Most crimes (with the exception of strict-liability crimes) consist of two elements: an act, or “actus reus,” and a mental state, or “mens rea.” Prosecutors have to prove each and every element of the crime to yield a conviction. Furthermore, the prosecutor must persuade the jury or judge “beyond a reasonable doubt” of every fact necessary to constitute the crime charged. In civil cases, the plaintiff needs to show a defendant is liable only by a “preponderance of the evidence,” or more than 50 percent.

Get A Free Consultation

If you are facing criminal charges, put a skilled attorney on your side. The lawyers of Palacios Law Group will discuss your case with you in a free consultation. Call 516-873-8783  or email us to set up an appointment.

We are located in Mineola and work throughout New York.