Definition of criminal law
: the law of crimes and their punishments
First Known Use of criminal law
CRIMINAL LAW Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of criminal law for English Language Learners
: laws that deal with crimes and their punishments
Legal Definition of criminal law
: public law that deals with crimes and their prosecution — compare civil law
Additional Notes on criminal law
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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up criminal law? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).