Criminal law is quite different from civil law where the people of both sides are not criminals, or not being tried for a criminal offence. Criminal lawyers will tell you that they deal with the offences of breaking laws and seek to find out if a person is guilty or not. If they are, they must be convicted and the judge must set a punishment for them.
There are four basic principles in criminal law –
- The presumption of innocence. A person is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty. So even if they’ve been charged with the offence in question, it doesn’t mean they are guilty and they cannot be punished until the proof shows they are guilty. The judge, a magistrate or a jury must listen to all the evidence and decide whether the person is guilty or innocence. If there is reasonable doubt that they are guilty they must be acquitted of the offence.