Criminal, or Penal, Law is the branch of law relating specifically to crime. It governs an individual's relationship to the state. Criminal law regulates social conduct and prohibits actions considered threatening, harmful, or otherwise dangerous to property, health, safety, and the moral welfare of people. These actions or offenses are defined by federal, state, and local governments.
Criminal law varies according to jurisdiction and is different from civil law. Criminal law sets forth potential consequences for failure to abide by its rules. The objectives for criminal law are punishment or deterrence. How these objectives are met are based on the crime and the jurisdiction. It may involve rehabilitation, restoration, or incarceration.
Each case is different and carries its own set of circumstances which must be taken into consideration by competent legal counsel.