Criminal Law Forms - Criminal Law

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Criminal Forms - How They Protect Your Criminal Rights Criminal Defense Law

A person who has committed a crime or has been accused of and convicted of a crime is a criminal. The formal document by which a criminal is accused of an offense is known as criminal charge. A criminal charge is the first step to prosecution. A person is convicted only when the criminal charge is proven beyond reasonable doubt. When a person is charged with a crime s/he has to file a response with the court. The formal response filed by the accused is known as a plea. Along with the plea, the accused files an affidavit with the court declaring the truth of the facts. Pleas of an accused are of different types:

  • Guilty plea in which the accused admits the charges against him/her
  • Not guilty plea in which the accused denies the charges
  • Nolo Contendere or 'no contest plea' in which the accused denies the charges but subjects the defendant to punishment

Some of the important criminal legal rights protected by criminal forms include:

Bonds - An accused person also has the right to be released on bail by personal or surety bond. A bond is an assurance that the accused will appear for all future court dates. If an accused person believes that s/he is unlawfully arrested, s/he has the right to be released from imprisonment after such arrest. An unlawfully arrested person or some other person on behalf of the unlawfully arrested person can approach a court of law for a writ of habeas corpus. The habeas corpus writ demands the release of an unlawfully detained person.

Speedy trial and right to counsel - The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides for speedy trial of an accused person. However, the accused person may waive his/her speedy trial rights. However, the waiver of speedy trial must take place within the statutory period.

Post conviction relief - After an accused is charged with an offense, the accused may have relief available. One such post conviction relief is expungement. In the United States, criminal charges may be expunged. It is a process by which criminal charges are legally eliminated from records or files. Once records are sealed or expunged, the accused may deny ever having been charged with the crime.

After conviction, if the convicted person or criminal believes that the assistance of his/her counsel was ineffective, or s/he wants to produce new evidence to prove his/her innocence, the convicted person can, without going for an appeal, demand post conviction relief.

Criminal records - Federal, state, and local levels of law enforcement agencies maintain the history and details of criminals. At the federal level, two major departments that maintain details of criminals are the Department of Justice and Department of Transportation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) administers the nation's criminal history records with the help of National Crime Information Center (NCIC), under the Department of Justice. With the National Driver Register (NDR), the Department of Transportation keeps data on suspended licenses for offenses such as traffic violations, driving under the influence (DUI), or driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Criminal records are shared between government agencies and are also made available to public. They may be used for background checks and criminal record checks. Most employers conduct background checks and a criminal records check before employing a person. A background check also helps employers discover incidents of criminal identity theft committed by prospective employees. Criminal identity theft means fraudulently identifying as another person or showing the identification documents of the other person. Also, in commercial transactions, proper background check prevents offenses such as check fraud and bad check dishonors.

Information as to whether a person is under a 'no contact order' of the court will be published by law enforcement agencies. A no contact order is an order of the court prohibiting a person from contacting with another individual or group. The ban or prohibition will be for direct or indirect contact. No contact orders are issued for offenses such as sexual harassment, stalking, or other sex offenses. Such orders may be in the form of permanent restraining orders (PRO), temporary restraining orders (TRO), protection orders, or order for protection from violence and domestic abuse.

Many professionally drafted criminal forms are available on US Legal Forms website.

Criminal FAQs Legal Criminal Law

What is a criminal record check? Criminals Law

Criminal record check is the review of the criminal records of a person. A criminal record is a public record that lists the criminal convictions and charges of a person. Criminal records are collected and stored by law enforcing agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. An example of a criminal records check is an employee background check. An employee background check is a criminal record check done by an employer to evaluate a potential employee's criminal history, character, and past employment verification. Background checks enable an employer to verify whether a potential employee has been previously charged with offenses like identity theft or passing a bad check.

What is expungement? Can a felony be expunged? Criminal Law Example

Expungement is a legal process by which a court strikes out or eliminates completely from its records, a criminal conviction. A person can seal or expunge his/her criminal convictions from public records by obtaining an expungement order.

Eligibility requirements for expungement of felony convictions are governed by state laws. Many criminal convictions including felony convictions can be expunged. However, in many states, certain types of felony convictions such as specified sexual offenses or violent crimes resulting in death or bodily injury cannot be expunged. Various criminal forms, including expungement forms, are available on the U S Legal Forms website.

What is the definition of stalking? Criminal Rights

Stalking is an act of following or observing a person persistently. It is obsessive attention by an individual. The crime of stalking includes obsessive following of a victim and can lead to criminal harassment, criminal menace, or domestic abuse charges. Victims of stalking and domestic abuse have many civil remedies available to them including applying for temporary restraining orders (TRO), protection orders, and no contact orders. An order for protection is a restraining order that orders a party to abstain from doing certain acts. A court issues a no contact order to prohibit a person from making a contact with another person. Along with pleas for protection orders or no contact orders, victims have to file their sworn affidavits with the court.

Can I waive my speedy trial rights? Criminal Justice Lawyer

The right to a speedy trial is a constitutional right provided to an accused. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees speedy trial rights to an accused person. The right of a speedy trial can be waived by an accused, and usually it is waived when an accused wants to prepare a stronger defense. In certain cases, courts infer a waiver of speedy trial rights when:

  • an accused voluntarily files a plea of guilty without mentioning about speedy trial
  • an accused does not make timely demand for trail or discharge
  • another court has granted continuance on motion of the accused

What is a post conviction relief? Expungement Application

Post conviction relief is a legal procedure by which a convicted person can request to vacate the conviction. With the help of post conviction relief, a convicted person can contest the case again and try to reverse a conviction. Generally, post conviction relief is a proceeding before a trial court. Filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus is an example of federal post conviction relief.

What is a DUI bail bond? Inmate Rights

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime of driving a motor vehicle with alcohol content in blood, the limit of which is in excess of statutory limit. DUI is also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI). DUI victims are released from custody on payment of a bail bond. Bail bond is an assurance by a suspect that s/he will appear for all court proceedings.