Criminal law is the broad category of law in which the government seeks to penalize an individual who the government alleges is guilty of a crime. Crimes are acts that are prohibited by laws written by State or Federal legislatures and entail penalties which are to be administered by the government through a fine or imprisonment. While civil law usually consists of one private party using the legal system against another private party for money or other specific relief, criminal law consists of the government using the legal system against a private party to fine them or deprive them of their freedom. As the stakes can be significantly higher in criminal law, it is crucial to find an intelligent attorney who can fight for you as a strong and vigorous advocate.