Criminal  Law  and  Maritime  Jobs  -   Marine  Incidents That  Can  Lead to Prosecution

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Some Basics About Criminal Law
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Basics of Criminal Law in General and On the Water
Criminal law differs from civil law in its purpose. While
civil law is geared towards compensating the victim of
a civil wrong, such as negligence, product liability, or
intentional tort legal theory, criminal law is concerned
with protecting the public from criminal conduct. This
makes sense from the human conduct point of view.
People can’t go around assaulting each other when
they lose an argument, since it will land them in jail.
Someone can’t go out an kill their business rival… the
consequences could be a death penalty or life in
prison, depending on the jurisdiction and applicable
state penal laws. Although criminal law is governed by
differing state laws, the basic means of assessing a
criminal’s state of mind (the level of their criminal
intent) is more or less common.
To learn more about
the four criminal states of mind for criminal liability in
most jurisdictions, click
Criminal Intent - Acting
Intentionally, Knowingly, Recklessly & Negligently).

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When the Argo Merchant sank on December 21, 1976, criminal prosecutions were not
carried out. Running aground on Middle Rip Shoal 6 days earlier, it was revealed that the
ship had inaccurate charts, a broken gyrocompass and inaccurate radio direction finder.
Those days are over. Today's mariner faces criminal prosecution for being amiss in
When law enforcement and federal prosecutors and state district attorneys investigate an
incident today, they will analyze the mental state of the perpetrator of the crime. Did he or
she act intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with neglignce..
Reporting a Serious Marine
Incident - Cont'd