criminal law


Definition of criminal law

: the law of crimes and their punishments

Examples of criminal law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the longer term, there’s also potential to cash in on single-event sports betting, currently prohibited under Canadian criminal law. Sandra Mergulhao,, "Online Gambling Firms Expect Ontario to Lift Key Operator Ban," 2 Nov. 2020 Gividen, the former ICE trial attorney and former prosecutor for the U.S. attorney general, has experience with the serpentine systems of both criminal law and civil immigration law. Dianne Solis, Dallas News, "Immigration detention centers are emptying out as the U.S. cites coronavirus for removals," 2 Oct. 2020 Michael Wynne, Paul's attorney and a former federal prosecutor, is the chair of the Houston Bar Association's criminal law and procedure section, and Cammack was elected to serve in that role next. Jake Bleiberg, Star Tribune, "Texas AG taps investigator tied to donor's defense attorney," 8 Oct. 2020 Holmes’ introduction to criminal law was as a victim. Matt Sledge,, "Former prosecutors and public defender chief race for Criminal District Court bench seats," 5 Oct. 2020 The ruling complements self-defense laws across the country, which allow citizens to use proportional force to protect themselves against violent crime, says Russell Covey, a professor of criminal law at Georgia State University. Nick Roll, The Christian Science Monitor, "Louisville and beyond: Calls for reform on ‘no-knock’ police raids," 1 Oct. 2020 His specialties included antitrust, real estate and criminal law. Washington Post, "Community deaths," 2 Oct. 2020 In the end, the case went down just as many criminal law experts predicted. Andrew Wolfson, USA TODAY, "'Vigorous' self-defense laws likely prevented homicide charges in Breonna Taylor's death, experts say," 24 Sep. 2020 An Emory University criminal law professor said empirical evidence shows judges are not extensively reviewing requests for search warrants before approving them. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, "No-knock warrants in Georgia under microscope since Breonna Taylor shooting," 16 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'criminal law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of criminal law

1672, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for criminal law

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The first known use of criminal law was in 1672

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Statistics for criminal law

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Criminal law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for criminal law

criminal law


English Language Learners Definition of criminal law

: laws that deal with crimes and their punishments

criminal law


Legal Definition of criminal law

: public law that deals with crimes and their prosecution — compare civil law

Note: Substantive criminal law defines crimes, and procedural criminal law sets down criminal procedure. Substantive criminal law was originally common law for the most part. It was later codified and is now found in federal and state statutory law.

More from Merriam-Webster on criminal law

Britannica English: Translation of criminal law for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about criminal law

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