Criminal law addresses the government's prosecution of individuals who have been accused of committing a crime. Such laws may be federal, state, or local. The prosecution represents the people of a particular jurisdiction, and acts on behalf of the government by bringing a case against an accused. Under the U.
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Missouri, like most states, has a complex criminal law system. There are a large number of criminal charges that can be filed, from simple traffic violations, all the way through felony charges that carry death, or life without parole, as punishment. The criminal justice system is not the place to represent yourself. Both the federal and state constitutions require that a criminal defendant be afforded due process of law. The court, prosecution and defense lawyer work together to make sure that the rules of criminal procedure are observed.
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Last Updated: November 8, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years.
In many other nations, the accused is presumed guilty until he proves his innocence or the government inadequately proves its case. Yet in the United States of America, the presumption of innocence requires the prosecution to prove its case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt before he would be pronounced guilty. Under the U. It is criminal lawyers who represent defendants in and out of court. They make several attempts to settle the case outside of court but occasionally, they must go to trial.