Types of Law

Every citizen ought to know the Law of the Land. There is no excuse for not knowing the law. It will not help a person defend him or herself in a legal crisis. Ignorance can never be explained away.

Even when you have not acted against the law, you might need to know the law in order to protect yourself from people who might violate the law. To know ones rights and privileges is not only beneficial, it is absolutely essential. You will never know when the information you have at your disposal might come in handy. Having it ready before any crisis strikes will help you take immensely wiser and more informed decisions which you will not regret later. Just as there are varied disciplines in the field of medicine, there is a wide range of divisions when it comes to law. For instance, everyone knows that you don’t visit a general physician for a severe heart ailment. You want to consult a heart specialist in this case. Likewise, for every particular type of law, there are specific attorneys who specialize in that particular field. It really helps to search and identify the suitable attorney for your particular case, instead of heading to the nearest or most familiar attorney for every case.

This article briefly lists the types of law:

Admiralty Law

The Admiralty Law is also known as Maritime Law and governs all U.S. All countries have maritime laws and they are responsible for their vessels regardless of which ocean they are sailing in. Admiralty Law Attorneys represent cases of all matters concerning cargo disputes, oil pollution, fishing regulations, international trade, cargo and injury that takes place on docks and vessels. Admiralty Law Attorneys also offer advice on trade laws, legal matters concerning environmental groups and the protection of endangered species. Admiralty Law also covers freight and passenger liabilities.

Aviation Law

Laws have been instituted by state and federal governments to enhance safety in air traffic. Aviation Laws in the United States govern aircraft operations and the maintenance of aircraft facilities.

Bankruptcy Law

When an individual or a company files for relief of debt, it is termed as Bankruptcy. In the United States, there are specific courts that handle bankruptcy rulings and specialty attorneys who handle these cases. A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give debtors a financial “fresh start” from burdensome debts.

Civil Rights

A Civil Rights Attorney has the responsibility of defending the rights and privileges granted to all United States citizens. These include freedom from slavery, freedom to vote, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of speech and the right to be treated fairly in public places.

Consumer Rights

The Attorney General of a particular state houses the division of Consumer protection and its team of consumer fraud attorneys. Complaints about misleading advertising or business practices that are unlawful can be filed and that division investigates and mediates on behalf of the consumer.

Corporate Law

A corporation is a legal entity created through the laws of its state of incorporation. Individual states have the power to disseminate laws relating to the creation, organization and dissolution of corporations. Many states follow the Model Business Corporation Act.

Criminal Law

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 which serves as a good starting place to gain an understanding of the basic structure of criminal liability.

Employment Law Employment law is a broad area encompassing all areas of the employer/employee relationship except the negotiation process covered by labor law and collective bargaining. Employment law consists of thousands of Federal and state statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions.

Immigration Law Federal immigration law determines whether a person is an alien, and associated legal rights, duties, and obligations of aliens in the United States. It also provides means by which certain aliens can become naturalized citizens with full rights of citizenship.

There are still a lot more laws than can be reviewed here.

For the best deal on experienced Chapter 13 Bankruptcy attorneys in Maryland check them out..

Understanding Federal Crimes

In the realm of law, crimes are considered to be within a jurisdiction. This means that the trials for certain crimes are the responsibility of certain areas of the country. At the most basic division, jurisdiction is broken into two levels: state level and federal level.

States usually have jurisdiction over most crimes that occur within that state. This may include murder, theft, trespassing, and other actions that break federal and state criminal laws. Some crimes are under both federal and state jurisdiction, meaning that the trials can be heard in state or federal courts.

Some particular crimes are considered federal offenses even though they occur in certain states. These crimes are considered crimes against the federal government and may include espionage, conspiracy against the government, illegal alien smuggling, and other crimes that threaten the federal government.

Other cases that may share joint jurisdiction as previously mentioned may become exclusively federal crimes depending on the magnitude of the crime. Examples of this include major cases of embezzling, bank fraud, and drug-related crimes.

In many cases, federal crimes are considered more severe than state crimes because they put more people in danger or affect a greater number of individuals. When an individual is convicted of a federal crime, he or she may serve time in a federal prison as opposed to a state jail.

Federal crimes often carry severe punishments, and individuals who commit them often see decades or even life in prison. These sentences may be in addition to severe fines that an individual is ordered to pay.

When you have been accused of a federal crime, you may be at risk of losing many of your freedoms, especially if you do not enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer like the Austin federal defense attorneys at the Inglis law firm.

Criminal Law Information

According to criminal law, crimes are offences against the social order. In common law jurisdictions, there is a legal fiction that crimes disturb the peace of the sovereign. Government officials, as agents of the sovereign, are responsible for the prosecution of offenders. Hence, the criminal law “plaintiff” is the sovereign, which in practical terms translates into the monarch or the people.

The major objective of criminal law is deterrence and punishment, while that of civil law is individual compensation. Criminal offences consist of two distinct elements; the physical act (the actus reus, guilty act) and the requisite mental state with which the act is done (the mens rea, guilty mind). For example, in murder the ‘actus reus is the unlawful killing of a person, while the ‘mens rea is malice aforethought (the intention to kill or cause grievous injury). The criminal law also details the defenses that defendants may bring to lessen or negate their liability (criminal responsibility) and specifies the punishment which may be inflicted. Criminal law neither requires a victim, nor a victim’s consent, to prosecute an offender. Furthermore, a criminal prosecution can occur over the objections of the victim and the consent of the victim is not a defense in most crimes.

Criminal law in most jurisdictions both in the common and civil law traditions is divided into two fields:

* Criminal procedure regulates the process for addressing violations of criminal law

* Substantive criminal law details the definition of, and punishments for, various crimes.

Criminal law distinguishes crimes from civil wrongs such as tort or breach of contract. Criminal law has been seen as a system of regulating the behavior of individuals and groups in relation to societal norms at large whereas civil law is aimed primarily at the relationship between private individuals and their rights and obligations under the law. Although many ancient legal systems did not clearly define a distinction between criminal and civil law, in England there was little difference until the codification of criminal law occurred in the late nineteenth century. In most U.S. law schools, the basic course in criminal law is based upon the English common criminal law of 1750 (with some minor American modifications like the clarification of mens rea in the Model Penal Code).

Types of criminal law are: Arrests and Searches, Drug Crimes, Juvenile Law, Drunk Driving / DUI / DWI , Parole, Probation, Pardons, Violent Crimes, White Collar Crimes and Military Law.

The Rule of Law

One of the most fundamental requirements of a civil society is the rule of law which means that the people must follow the law of the land irrespective of his or her status or position in the society. In the modern world, the developed countries feel proud that their society is governed by the rule of law while most developing countries like India feel ashamed that their society does not have the rule of law. The developed countries are the role model for the underdeveloped countries, where the rule of law is still a distant dream.

Societies that follow rule of law are often considered more civilized as there is much more order in the society. Every thing in such societies appears to be in order. The roads are clean, lawns and parks are well-maintained, government officials work in office, trains and public transports run on time. Further, there is virtually no corruption in public offices. People are well paid, deliver better efficiencies and keep everything neat and clean. These societies appear perfect to the people of other parts of the world, who often wonder why they can’t be like them.

All societies need laws for their existence. Even though the laws may be different in each society, yet there are some basic principles that are common to all laws of the world. These fundamental principles are equality, fraternity, justice and liberty. The Indian constitution, for example, incorporates these goals in the preamble to the constitution which seeks to secure for all its citizens justice, liberty, equality and to promote among them the spirit of fraternity.

These principles are so universal in nature that they find place in every civilized society of the world. It is matter of great surprise that in reality the outcome of the rule of law is just the opposite. The more civilized a society is, the more is the inequality among its population – more injustice to the have-nots, less liberty due to strict enforcement of law and more hatred among the citizens based on race, caste and religion. What goes wrong in the implementation in the so-called rule of law?

Law of Nature

Indian thinkers in the Vedic period, i.e. around 3000 years before the birth of Christ, discovered that the universe does not perform its functions at random but follows certain laws. These were called “Rita” or the universal laws or principles that guided the universe. The progress of man can be largely attributed in understanding these basic principles of nature and exploiting them for the benefit of the human race at the cost of the rest of the creations. The laws of man, therefore, run contrary to the laws of nature as they are human-centric and not designed for all the creations of God or Nature.

One of the basic differences between man-made-laws and the laws of Nature is that the laws of nature are spontaneous as they require no effort in implementation. For example, in a natural piece of earth like a forest, the earth produces trees, plants, fruits and vegetables spontaneously without any need of watering or breeding. The nature itself provides timely rain and fertilizer to the new plants. The forests and the mountains are covered with greenery and beauty, which is purely natural since it comes without any effort.

On the contrary, the man-made creations like parks, trees, plants are artificially made. They too may look as beautiful as the natural ones, yet they cannot survive without regular effort on the part of man. Imagine a park, which is not maintained for a few months, or a house not cleaned for months. It will lose all its beauty and soon be filled with dust and weeds. No building or modern gadget can survive without external effort from man. However, all natural creations are able to survive on their own and maintain their existence; and enjoy their life without any external support.

The laws of nature are just as they treat every specie (and not only man) with equality. In a jungle, every specie gets its due share of food, air and water which enable them to live a dignified life without being dependent on any other creation. Nature makes no distinction between one specie, and the other as all species are the children of the same God.

However, in the man’s world, every other creature is killed if it is not useful for man. They can survive only if they can be useful for man. Thus man’s world does not treat any other creature of the nature with respect and does not provide them any right of equality, liberty, justice or fraternity. He cleverly usurps this universal law and makes it applicable only for human beings. For all other lesser species, he has created a man-made-law, calling it ‘the law of jungle’ or ‘the survival of the fittest’ which justifies his domination over the weak creations. The fact, on the contrary, is that the laws of jungle are far more just and equal for all species than the man-made-law.

Most men are not concerned about the way they treat the lesser animals as they feel that ‘the survival of the fittest’ theory is more logical than the laws of nature. However, they forget that every principle created in the universe has to be applied on them also and that they may not always be a beneficiary. Man-made-laws do not stop with animals but they soon spread their wings to encompass human beings, too. This is where conflicts between man and man starts that gives rise to hatred and wars. Man feels the pinch when the law of jungle is applied against them and the law of nature is denied to him. He is hurt when he is treated like weeds by the society.

Weeds: The Undesirable Plants of Nature?

One of the most interesting creations of the natural world is weed. Weeds are undesirable vegetation in the kingdom of plants. Weeds are defined as any plant that is not valued by the human society and usually tends to overgrow or compete with valued flora. Weeds are the plants which are considered by human beings as unattractive, undesirable, or troublesome.

In the natural world, man has to continuously fight against weeds to make their artificial plants survive. Weeds grow automatically and if the artificial gardens do not have the support of man, it is soon overpowered by weeds and the whole field or garden becomes full of weeds. Weeds are created by Nature (God) as no human effort is required to grow them. They are, however, so powerful that man has to continuously guard his creation from these weeds, lest all creation of the civilized society is destroyed. Weeds are as undesirable to man in the world of plants as criminals in the human society.

Criminals: The Necessary Evil for the Civil Society

Similar to weeds in the natural world, there is a growth of criminals in civilized societies. Who these criminals are? Why do they grow? Whether the criminals are healthy people or are they mentally ill as often thought by the civilized world?

Criminals are defined as the people who commit crime. Crime is defined as an act that is a violation of the criminal law that is punishable by law. Crime is usually considered an evil act and criminals are often seen as evil created by Devil, out there to destroy the civilized citizens, the children of God.

There are many similarities between criminals and weeds. Criminals grow automatically in every society and the society has to work hard to weed out these criminals. Criminals like weeds are so powerful and competitive that they have the power to defeat the civilized people. They are, therefore, fought jointly by the society. Yet in every society, there is crime and there are criminals. We are used to look criminals as evil that is unnecessary just like weeds. Yet if God (Nature) is the creator of all, then everything in this world must have been created with a purpose. “What could be the purpose of creation of criminals?” We wonder.

Criminals are, as a matter of fact, creation of the civilized world. In an uncivilized world, there would be no law, so there can be no violation of law and hence, no criminal. If we wish to understand the utility of criminals in the civilized world, we must imagine the world of nature without weeds. In such a world, all plants will have to be grown by man with artificial watering – canals, tube-wells, and other irrigation systems used for agriculture. In all certainty, man will grow only such crops and plants that are useful to man and the rest of the species would surely not survive in the man’s world. Further, man’s energy is limited and with all his effort, he can hardly take care of a minuscule part of the world by artificial plantation, so the rest of the physical world would be without plants and so without oxygen and other animal life and eco-system. This will soon lead to the end of the world including the human being.

The role of criminals is similar to the role of the weeds. Imagine a world without crime i.e. everyone follows the law of the land without questioning. It will only provide status quo in the world. Kings will always be kings and only their children or loved ones can become kings. Poor will always be poor. Kings will frame more inhuman laws that would give them more powers. The less fortunate people would die out of hunger and poverty as they won’t break the law and the state will have no obligation to feed them. Thus the world without criminals would be a place where people will die due to inaction, boredom and cruelty. Such an ideal world, indeed, would be the most inhuman and most undesirable to mankind.

Thankfully, people called criminals automatically grow in every civil society as soon as man creates laws to govern it. The laws of man are always challenged by them since they are mostly against the laws of nature i.e. equality, justice, liberty and fraternity. States always have to face opposition from such people who break the law and are known as criminals. They may have an ugly appearance as weeds but they only provide oxygen to the society for its life. Thus in posterity, people recognize them not as criminals but as heroes.

The Path of Heroism

While man hates criminals, he worships the heroes. He can lay his most valuable possession i.e. his life on a single call from his hero. Who are these heroes? Are they law-abiding civilized people or the law-defying criminals? Take the example of Mahatma Gandhi in the modern world. He was perhaps the biggest criminal in the time of the British rule in India and he was jailed many times on charges of being waging war against the state. He spent more than 15 years in jail for his various crimes. Yet the people of India call him ‘Father of the Nation’ and love him more than any civilized person on the earth. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in jail, yet he is a national hero not only for South Africa but for the entire world.

In history, we can find numerous examples of great people who have broken the law and having been punished for their criminal acts. The list includes people like Christ, Prophet Mohammad, Socrates and Galileo. Yet it is these people who changed the history of the world and they are rightly worshiped as heroes by the masses even after their death.

How many people you have ever known who have become heroes without breaking the law and committing crimes in their time? Perhaps none. Heroes are created not by following the law but by breaking the law.

Rule of Divine Law

It is not always good to follow the law blindly as it provides order and rule of law in the society but kills the humanity as the implementation of most of the man-made laws are against the natural laws. Man-made laws are often disguised under the cover of natural laws like equality, justice, liberty and fraternity yet they serve just the opposite purpose. Most people see the letter of the law but fail to grasp its spirit. One must understand that breaking man-made laws is one of the fundamental requirements of all civil societies, if it contradicts the natural or divine laws. Thus every person who breaks the law need not be a criminal. One must go deeper into the facts before declaring a law-breaker to be a criminal. The key distinction perhaps would be to see if he is breaking the law for the interest of the humanity or for his own selfish end. Is it need-based or greed-based? There lies the distinction between good and evil, between a true criminal and a hero. One who is breaking a law for others or to fight injustice is a hero and not a criminal. A poet said “Jo lade din ke khet, Sura toi” (One who fights for the weak is the real hero).

Mr. Awdhesh K Singh holds his B. Tech. from Institute of Technology, Bananas Hindu University Varanasi and M. Tech. from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He was granted study leave for the PhD course in 2002, for doing PhD from ABV- Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM) Gwalior, India. His PhD thesis on the topic “Expert System based Decision Support System for E-Governance: An Application to Indian Customs” is undergoing evaluation.

He has published several papers in International Journals and Conferences on the subject of E-governance and the application of Artificial Intelligence tools like Fuzzy Logic (FL) and Expert Systems (ES) for Indian Customs. He also has keen interest in the study and application of Indian Philosophies for solving the real-life problems of the modern world.

How To Become A Real Crime Scene Technician

The popularity of those true-crime and crime scene technician programs on television have not only attracted a large audience of loyal fans, but have also inspired thousands of students to enter criminal law, forensic sciences, and law enforcement schools, all in hopes of joining the ranks of forensic lab and field technicians across the country. Because the field is so varied, the training can literally come from a host of different sources, and will continue on past gaining the necessary degrees or certifications, so that they can readily keep up with the ever-changing technology.

The skills you will learn in school to become a crime scene investigator are so needed these days that any certification or degree will easily lead to a career that is much in demand. Law enforcement, legal practices and even the federal government have openings for dedicated forensics professionals from all walks of life, and education.

Where to Begin Your Crime Scene Technician Training

There are so many different ways to begin your training in forensic science. Enrolling in any technical school that offers classes in criminal justice is one way to begin. Attending an accredited college or university program is another. And, these days, you can even begin your job training online, at your own pace, allowing you to take care of your beginning classes, and formal training over whatever period of time you require.

Beginning with criminal justice training is the smartest way, as you will be learning everything that you will need to be part of law enforcement, the largest employers of technician anywhere. This type of background is essential to your formal training to work in the field gathering evidence, securing crime scenes and interviewing potential witnesses as part of your daily job description.

Career Education Requirements

Before you can get into the science of forensic technology itself, you should have a good knowledge of the physical sciences, chemistry, biology, math and anatomy physiology. Along with this course of study, outside of the technology itself, the best school to enter after the general courses are behind you, is the school of criminal justice.

Because most crime scene investigator and technician positions are actually filled within law enforcement, it is essential that any student planning on having this kind of specialized career study the first couple of years as if they were becoming a police officer in the field. In some jurisdictions, the CSI functions as operating police officers in emergency situations, so all of this training will come in handy, even if the television shows may tell you otherwise.

Criminal Justice Training

You can either attend an actual criminal justice school, or complete the necessary criminal justice courses online while you complete the technical and science requirements at a university. However you wish to do so the bulk of your criminal justice training should include as many of the following courses as you can complete for the full spectrum of training available:

Criminal Law
Crime Scene Evidence
Criminal Investigation
Crime Scene Photography
Evidence Collection
Evidence Analysis and Interpretation

The next set of courses only requires that you show a proficiency in, so that you can work with law enforcement agencies, while pursuing your main career:

Shooting
Defensive Tactics
First Aid
Fingerprinting, including applications, techniques and interpretation
Bloodstain Analysis
Forensic Photography
Footwear Identification Proficiency

Employment Outlook and Opportunities

There are a large number of crimes that occur unfortunately on a regular basis that will require the specialized expertise of a crime scene technician. Assaults, burglaries, rapes, kidnappings, suicides, vehicular crimes, and murder will all allow you to utilize every skill you have learned so that you can be an important part of the investigation team.

Job opportunities for professional technicians can be found in law enforcement, fire departments, pathology labs, hospitals, medical examiners offices, and even insurance and detective agencies. This means that the current outlook is very good, and the number of openings is expected to grow over the next few years, as the field expands.

Understanding Torts and Crimes

For many years I’ve lived with the vague knowledge that crimes and torts are both punishable offenses, but I never bothered to investigate the difference between them till now. So here are some notes I want to share.

First we must break apart the term Law. In the United States “the Law” divides into two categories: Private law and Public law.

Private Law: Torts

As the title implies, this type of law guides the relations of individuals and businesses in a community (hamlet, town, city, county, state, or country). When violations of private law occur, then we say that a ‘tort’ has been committed.

Other subtleties mark torts, such as to whether the infraction was intentional or from an act of negligence. This distinction allows for fair treatment of the wrong-doer, and a fair and just compensation to the injured party. An action against the offender is called a cause of action (civil suit).

The most common torts are:

* Unfair competitive practices
* Slander – a false and oral besmirch on an individual’s reputation.
* Libel – a false and written besmirch on an individual’s reputation
* Personal injury – damages due to accidents, defective products (product liability), and other malpractices.
* Fraud – intentional deceit.

Public Law: Crimes

Public law applies to the relationships between individuals or businesses and society. When an infraction against the community occurs, a crime occurs. It is the job of public defenders -district attorneys- to defend the public interest. An action against the offender is called a prosecution.

Crimes are categorized by Congress as felonies and misdemeanors (also referred to as ‘lesser crimes,” although there are many different types of crimes that fall under each class.

The most common crimes are:

* Break-ins, burglary, theft, robbery.
* Forgery – the intentional altering, distorting, and defacing documents (to include signatures).
* The use of deceptive weights, measures, or labels – Most States have bureaus that supervise the standards set by law: If a motorist asks for 10 gallons of gas, did he actually get 10 gallons? Was it premium or regular? Does the cereal box really contain 10 ounces?
* The ill use of mails with the intention to defraud others.
* Receipt of stolen property.
* Filing fraudulent income tax returns.
* Embezzlement – the misappropriation of funds.

Some crimes, such as embezzlement, may be both: a tort and a crime, as we saw in the case of Bernie Madoff. Not only did the disgraced financier abuse the private trust of his clients, but also the public trust.

For both torts and crimes, common law statutes of limitations apply. This simply means that actions for remedy must be brought within the allowed periods of time, or the case will “run out.”

For military personnel, both torts and crimes are covered under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Unit commanders exercise discretion as to whether to punish under Article 15 of the Code, or to convene a court martial.