The criminal process in the US begins when a person commits a crime by performing an illegal activity. Criminal assault and injury cases follow through a process of arrest, accusation, public trial, and defense plea. There is no one criminal court process in the country. Each state has its own laws that affect the judicial rulings.
That being said, norms in the criminal court process exist among different states, and the discussion in this article will primarily focus on these.
Important Elements of the Criminal Assault Case
The laws relating to criminal activity are fixed and precise. The US constitution does not allow ex-post facto laws. This means that the judicial body cannot declare a certain act illegal after it takes place.
One of the material elements of a criminal assault is Actus Reus. This is a Latin phrase that means that the criminal action that was performed by the defendant results in prosecution. The act must be clearly forbidden by the law; this includes assault, murder, and battery.
A corollary of this maxim is that failure to perform a legally required action may also lead to a criminal indictment. For instance, a drug company that does not warn customers about a known adverse effect of a particular drug can be prosecuted in criminal court.
Another material element of a criminal case is Mens Rea. This Latin term refers to the intention of wrongdoing as opposed to actually performing the action. An application of this maxim is the recent indictment of a Floridian woman who was charged with trying to hire an assassin to kill her ex-husband.
A final point to note about criminal injury cases is that the injury or harm must have been caused deliberately instead of accidentally or negligently. So, if a person does not intentionally kill another person, the state does not call it murder. Only if a murder was committed by a sane person with malice can a court prosecute someone for the crime.
That being said, an individual can file a civil case even if the murder or injury was caused due to neglect. The person or the company responsible for the act even due to neglect have to provide compensation to the victim for the financial pain and emotional stress the victim has suffered.
In the end, getting the help of a professional attorney can help increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in your case. An experienced lawyer can prepare the case in a professional manner, which can have a beneficial effect on the ruling. Moreover, the lawyer can assist the client in navigating through the complex legal requirement involved in taking a case to court.