What is Law?
Law is a system of rules that society or government sets up in order to control crime, business agreements and social relationships. People who break the laws are punished.
A law can be a rule or regulation, a precept or statute, an ordinance or canon. It is a decision that is made by a court and is then respected by future courts to assure that the same result is reached in similar cases.
The term law is also used to refer to the legal profession and the people who practice it.
According to Roscoe Pound, Law is primarily a tool for social engineering that is used to control human behavior in society. It is coercive and serves to satisfy social wants.
Those who believe in the law consider it to be a social institution that shapes politics, economics and history. It also serves as a mediator of relations between people.
In general, a crime is an act that satisfies all of the elements set out in a law, which may be a state or federal law. These include the act (actus reus), the mental state at the time of the action (mens rea), and the causation between the act and the effect.
The law also lays down the various crimes that can be committed, such as murder, robbery, rape, sodomy and larceny. Each state, as well as the federal government, has its own set of criminal codes. These are typically divided into felonies and misdemeanors.