What Is The Difference Between A Statue And A Law?
In America the term statute and law are generally considered the same thing. A statue is a rule made by the legislative body. Law or case law, is created when a court decides there is an additional interpretation to that statute. For example: The state determines that operating an automobile under the influence of alcohol is wrong. They enact a statute that states anyone driving an automobile under the influence of alcohol is breaking the law. At a later time a person drives a motorcycle while drunk and causes an accident. Prosecutors want to charge that person under the drunken driving statute. Defense however, states that the statute only states operation of an automobile and does not include motorcycles. The court will have to decide if the statute implies coverage to other forms of transportation. If they decide it does it will become law.
Can A Person Be Convicted Under A Statute And A Law At The Same Time
While courts now view laws and statutes as one in the same, it is possible to be convicted under both. If a person commits a crime that breaks a state statute and also breaks a local law, they can be charged with both offenses. However, it is more likely they will be charged with the more severe crime than with both.
Can Laws Be Different In Different Areas
Since statutes are made in the legislative branch and laws are made in courts, different jurisdictions can have different laws within the same state. You will often hear how something is legal in one county and not in another even though the counties share a border. This is just a common occurrence in the legal field.