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Main Types of Law

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There are five main types of law in the criminal justice system. The first and most recognizable type is Criminal Law. Criminal law (Schmalleger 2007) is the body of rules and regulations that define and specify the nature of punishments for offenses. They can be of a public nature or can be a wrong committed against the state or society. In the times of a monarchy it was said that public order and the "kings peace" was disturbed when a crime was committed. They not only offended the victim but the peaceful order established by the king. This is how it became the defendant Vs. the state. A criminal proceeding is actually brought forth by the State rather than the victim, and for obvious reason as sometime the victim can not speak for themselves. The punishment or fine is also carried out the state of which the crime occurred

Civil law or a "civil case" is brought forth by the usually the victim and not by the state. It is the area of law in common law countries governing relations between private individuals (Wikipedia 2007). Civil proceedings will normally seek monetary or property as compensation for damages. They can include a number or issues from divorce, child support, wills, contracts, and unfair hiring practices. Anytime a civil law is violated it is possible to see a civil suit. A recent example can include the O.J. Simpson trial. While he was found innocent in a criminal trial, a jury found enough evidence to say that he had violated the civil rights of the victims and was ordered to pay millions of dollars. The Goldman-Simpson families were awarded compensatory damages to compensate for survivors for pain, suffering and lost quality of life (Schmalleger 2007). Some states also award punitive damages for mental anguish and shame.

Administrative law is the law that governs the activities of businesses, industry and individuals. It includes such items as tax laws, health codes, vehicle registration and building codes. Some cases...