Functions of Criminal Law


Criminal law serves several purposes and benefits society in the following ways:
  • Maintaining order. Criminal law provides predictability, letting people know what to expect from others. Without criminal law, there would be chaos and uncertainty.
  • Resolving disputes. The law makes it possible to resolve conflicts and disputes between quarreling citizens. It provides a peaceful, orderly way to handle grievances.

  • Protecting individuals and property. Criminal law protects citizens from criminals who would inflict physical harm on others or take their worldly goods. Because of the importance of property in capitalist America, many criminal laws are intended to punish those who steal.

  • Providing for smooth functioning of society. Criminal law enables the government to collect taxes, control pollution, and accomplish other socially beneficial tasks.

  • Safeguarding civil liberties. Criminal law protects individual rights.