The criminal action is one that originates from a crime and involves the imposition of a punishment on the person responsible in accordance with the provisions of the law. In this way, criminal action is the starting point of the judicial process.
As noted on Digopaul, the origins of criminal action go back to the times when the State was awarded the monopoly on the use of force; when inaugurating the criminal action, it replaced personal revenge and self-defense, as the State is the one that assumes the defense and compensation of its citizens.
Criminal proceedings, therefore, is an exercise of power by the State and a right to protection for citizens who suffer the consequences of a crime committed against his person.
In a philosophical sense, criminal action is one of the ways that the State has to reestablish social peace that was altered by the commission of a crime. The promotion of a criminal action can be exercised both by the state power and by individuals.
Once a criminal action has been initiated, its first stage consists of the investigation (the search for evidence), the prosecution (the exercise of the action before the competent court) and the accusation (a punishment is required). During the trial, each of these steps is specified and, based on the action, the judge is responsible for issuing the resolution in accordance with the provisions of the laws in force.
Types and forms of criminal action
There are two types of criminal proceedings, the public and the private. The first refers to what concerns the public prosecutor, without prejudice to the participation of the victim and the second corresponds specifically to the victim.
There is also a type of action that is classified as a criminal public action at a private instance that exists when the exercise of public action depends strictly on a private instance, in such a situation the public prosecutor must present an instance to be able to represent said action .
The facts that can be prosecuted by private action are violations of property, injury or information that affects an individual or violation of industrial property.
For its part, the private body may prosecute de facto routes, beatings and wounds that leave injuries, threats, robberies without weapons and without violence, scams and falsification of deeds or documents, among others. In this case, the action arises when the victim files a complaint and, from that moment, the persecution of the accused begins.
When the punishable act has been carried out against an incapable person or a minor by one of their parents or guardians, who would theoretically be their representatives, for obvious reasons it is the public prosecutor’s office that exercises the action.
There are cases in which the criminal action can be extinguished, such as when the accused or the victim dies (as long as their heirs do not continue the action), amnesty is offered, the accusation is abandoned, the term of the conditional suspension expires of the criminal procedure or prescription or withdrawal of the private instance (if public action depends on it).
It is also important to point out that civil action can be carried out simultaneously with criminal action, as long as the rules established in the criminal procedure code are respected. Sometimes they are dealt with jointly and sometimes separately in civil courts; in the latter case , the exercise is halted until a verdict is handed down.