criminal law

noun

Definition of criminal law

: the law of crimes and their punishments

Examples of criminal law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One is about Medicare and government contracts, the next about criminal law, the last about immigration. Neil Gorsuch, National Review, "Disregarding the Separation of Powers Has Real-Life Consequences," 5 Sep. 2019 Theywent a step further and even announced what the six essay-style questions will cover:civil procedure, remedies within constitutional law, procedures within criminal law, professional responsibility, contracts and evidence. NBC News, "California State Bar accidentally leaks details of upcoming exam," 29 July 2019 During his 35-year tenure, Stevens left his stamp on nearly every area of the law, writing the court's opinions in landmark cases on government regulation, the death penalty, criminal law, intellectual property and civil liberties. oregonlive, "John Paul Stevens, longtime leader of Supreme Court’s liberal wing, dies at 99," 16 July 2019 Officers responding to a mental health call have to balance criminal law, patient rights, patient safety, their own safety, the safety of the patient’s family members. Frank Shyong, latimes.com, "Police know the mentally ill need more than handcuffs. Their response is shifting," 10 June 2019 Drenick, a spokeswoman for the Alameda District Attorney, said the office sponsored legislation last year meant to close a number of loopholes and shortfalls in criminal law. Thomas Peele, The Mercury News, "FBI agent dodges fine for AR-15 assault rifle stolen from unattended vehicle in Oakland," 4 Sep. 2019 Those representing/defending the accused can be called criminal law attorneys or defense attorneys. Kate Knight, Houston Chronicle, "A legal education: What do attorneys do?," 15 Aug. 2019 During his 35-year tenure, Stevens left his stamp on nearly every area of the law, writing the court's opinions in landmark cases on government regulation, the death penalty, criminal law, intellectual property and civil liberties. oregonlive, "John Paul Stevens, longtime leader of Supreme Court’s liberal wing, dies at 99," 16 July 2019 The charge of residential-mortgage fraud, which the state indictment revolves around, doesn’t exist in federal criminal law. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Manafort Pleads Not Guilty to 16 Additional State Charges," 27 June 2019

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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Statistics for criminal law

Last Updated

27 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for criminal law

The first known use of criminal law was in 1672

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More Definitions for criminal law

criminal law

noun

English Language Learners Definition of criminal law

: laws that deal with crimes and their punishments

criminal law

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with criminal law

Britannica English: Translation of criminal law for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about criminal law

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