Penal law and criminal law refers to the similar kind of law. The punishments under these laws are unique and severe which depends on the jurisdiction and offense. Some of the common punishments under these laws include imprisonment, parole, execution, fines and probation. The lines between criminal and civil law became blurry at times. The Sumarians were the first one to write the code of civil law as well as criminal law weren't separated in these codes.
The potential of failure to follow the rules and serious consequences have made criminal law unique. If imprisonment is ordered, then it could span the lifetime of the person. Then again, there is the house arrest which is another type of confinement requiring a person to stick to the rules that are given by the parole or probation department. More about this are available in the link. Money and some assets as well might be taken away from those people who are convicted.
The retribution, punishment, restitution, incapacitation and deterrence are the 5 categories of penalties whether you believe it or not. And you must know that these punishments will vary depending on the jurisdiction of the state.
The public international law is applied for the crimes that take effect on area and society because of its heinous nature. These trials are marked as the beginning of the person's being held accountable even though they are behalf or acting of their government.
All undesirable acts are forbidden under criminal law to put it simply. To make sure that a crime was committed by threat of action, a lack of action or by an action, the guilty act or the actus reus is requiring evidences. Physical elements are required by the actus reus before moving forward with the trial. Click here to know further data about this. Whether it is by blood relation, contract or living through an official position, in the event that someone is responsible of caring for someone, the actus reus will be applied. Not only that, this is also applied to situations that are dangerous to the own actions of the person.
On the other hand, there are some crimes like the regulatory offenses that require no evidences. These are the types of crimes that are sometimes called as strict liability offenses. Extra details about this are discussed at http://edition.cnn.com/CRIME/archive/. A proof of intent should be met and also, proof of a guild mind or the mens rea is required because of the possible severity of consequences.
Nullifying the actus reus may occur by means of proving that the harm to the individual may have happened anyway. The actus reus won't be nullified as the injury was a direct effect of your action in case that a person was injured.