OT - Re: Microsoft Hatred FAQ

Paul Rubin http
Fri Nov 4 00:22:13 CET 2005

Steven D'Aprano <steve at REMOVETHIScyber.com.au> writes:
> > There is a difference between what is *illegal* and what constitutes
> > a *crime*.
> Why thank you, you've really made my day. That's the funniest thing I've
> heard in months. Please, do tell, which brand of corn flakes was it that
> you got your law degree from?

In US law at least, crimes are a certain subset of illegal acts.
There are lawyers (both defense and prosecution) who specialize in
criminal law, etc.  Only the government is allowed to prosecute
crimes, and criminal defendants get rights and assurances beyond what
non-criminal defendants get.  Basically a crime is something you can
go to jail for (e.g. drunk driving) and you have to be proved guilty
"beyond a reasonable doubt" and there are a bunch of rights that you
get at a criminal trial that you don't get at a non-criminal one.
Something like littering, for which you can be levied a fine but not
sent to jail, is an "infraction" (not a crime) and you can be
convicted on a lesser standard such as "preponderance of evidence".
This classification is approximate and is not anything like an actual
legal definition and there are all kinds of exceptions.

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