Substantive And Procedural Laws In The Criminal Justice System

750 Words 3 Pages
Together, substantive and procedural laws work to ensure that a trial is fair and free of improper procedures. Substantive laws determine what is to be considered a crime. They not only tell if a crime committed by an individual is indeed considered a criminal offense but also how severe the crime may be. Moreover, procedural laws determine how people who commit crime should be handled in court. It gives them a fair trial and protects their rights as citizens. Both laws are need in law and are very important. They may vary depending on the type of court, state or jurisdiction.

Substantive and procedural laws are laws that work together within the criminal justice system. Substantive laws depend on procedural law guidelines that
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Substantial laws tell if a crime committed by an individual is indeed considered a criminal offense and how severe the crime may be. Furthermore, these laws are what tells if hate crimes are indeed hate crimes or if self-defense crimes are indeed self-defense. Certain elements must be present to consider a crime. It is possible for a suspect to be free to go in court because the jury may decide that the accused did not commit a crime if certain elements are not present. According to (Fuller, 2014), the “thou shall nots” of the criminal law, substantive laws are found in the criminal codes of the state and federal governments and are the result of generations of political and social development. These laws are used to regulate the relationship of people and the state and help keep the rights, obligations and power under control. Some examples of substantive laws include homicide, rape, torts, wills, and so on. The substantive law also sets the parameters on the punishment for each type of offense (Fuller, 2014). These laws may differ based on the state and/or …show more content…
Substantive law is more important because without those laws an officer wouldn’t necessarily know if an act committed is considered a crime. Without those laws, he could possibly arrest someone who is not committing what is considered a crime. This could then cause unnecessary court costs which will lead to the accused being free if the jury indeed finds what the officer thought was a crime, not actually a crime. Certainly no one will be able to bring a lawsuit against a police officer (or a department) for stopping people who violate what the officer (or department) “reasonably” believes is the law (Colb, 2014). However, it does affect the agency and gives an impression of unprofessional

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