We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Criminal Prosecution?

By Christy Bieber
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Criminal prosecution involves bringing someone to trial for the violation of a criminal law. Criminal laws are legal rules imposed by the law-making body that stipulate forbidden behaviors. Violation of criminal laws can lead to penalties including fines, jail time, or even death.

Some form of criminal law exists in every country in the world. In the United States and England, for example, criminal laws are primarily derived from common law rules and criminal codes. Common law refers to case law, or law made by judges, while criminal codes refer to formal statutes passed by the legislature or law-making body.

When a person violates criminal law, he does an action that breaks one of the laws, and his forbidden action makes him susceptible to prosecution and sanctions. These sanctions are imposed by the government that passed the law. He may also be subject to a private lawsuit brought by his victim, but a different body of law — called tort law in the United States — governs private lawsuits.

Most countries provide safeguards for individuals accused of violating criminal law. In the United States, for example, the US Constitution promises that every individual is innocent until proven guilty, that everyone has a right to a fair trial by a jury of his peers, and that no one may be deprived of life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness without due process of the law. In Canada, Section Eleven of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to a fair trial, while the English Bill of Rights from 1689 created the foundation for this right in England.

Criminal prosecution is the legal term that refers to subjecting a person to his fair trial. This means that when someone is accused of a crime, the criminal prosecution is the legal action that requires him to submit to a trial. The judge or jury can then make a determination regarding his guilt or innocence.

In the United States, only a prosecutor can institute a criminal prosecution. A prosecutor is an officer of the court. A victim of a crime cannot prosecute the criminal himself, although he can "press charges," which means report the crime to the police and work with the prosecutor in the criminal prosecution.

Prosecutors must follow certain rules when prosecuting criminals to ensure the trial is fair. For example, they must disclose evidence to the accused and cannot engage in illegal actions such as coercing witnesses. The prosecutor also must prove all the elements of the crime to win the case; in the United States, for example, each element of a crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal prosecution.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.