crime

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crime

n. a violation of a law in which there is injury to the public or a member of the public and a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine as possible penalties. There is some sentiment for excluding from the "crime" category crimes without victims, such as consensual acts, or violations in which only the perpetrator is hurt or involved such as personal use of illegal drugs. (See: felony, misdemeanor)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

crime

an offence against the state that is punishable. The act or omission may also be civilly actionable. Prevailing legal thinking takes the positivist view (see POSITIVISM) that any conduct can be declared criminal, so everything from murder to a failure to renew a television licence can be a crime. Most legal systems require that the accused person should exhibit mens rea (‘a guilty mind’) as well as having carried out the actus reus, being the physical requirement. Thus, in theft the accused must have taken the thing (although this is interpreted differently in different systems) and have intended to deprive the true owner of his ownership (although this too can be formulated differently in different systems). Motive is generally irrelevant. A crime is sometimes distinguished from delicts and contraventions, especially in the civil law jurisdictions: a crime is a serious crime, a delict a major offence and a contravention a trivial breach of the law. Crimes are also distinguished from offences, the latter being considered more trivial. The common law world has had a distinction between crime (grave) and misdemeanor (slight). Another common distinction is between mala in se, or ‘bad in themselves’ or they are mala prohibita, ‘bad because prohibited’, as being against public policy.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CRIME. A crime is an offence against a public law. This word, in its most general signification, comprehends all offences but, in its limited sense, it is confined to felony. 1 Chitty, Gen. Pr. 14.
     2. The term misdemeanor includes every offence inferior to felony, but punishable by indictment or by particular prescribed proceedings.
     3. The term offence, also, may be considered as, having the same meaning, but is usually, by itself, understood to be a crime not indictable but punishable, summarily, or by the forfeiture of, a penalty. Burn's Just. Misdemeanor.
     4. Crimes are defined and punished by statutes and by the common law. Most common law offences are as well known, and as precisely ascertained, as those which are defined by statutes; yet, from the difficulty of exactly defining and describing every act which ought to be punished, the vital and preserving principle has been adopted, that all immoral acts which tend to the prejudice of the community are punishable by courts of justice. 2 Swift's Dig.
     5. Crimes are mala in se, or bad in themselves; and these include. all offences against the moral law; or they are mala prohibita, bad because prohibited, as being against sound policy; which, unless prohibited, would be innocent or indifferent. Crimes may be classed into such as affect:
     6.-1. Religion and public worship: viz. blasphemy, disturbing public worship.
     7.-2. The sovereign power: treason, misprision of treason.
     8.-3. The current coin: as counterfeiting or impairing it.
     9.-4. Public justice: 1. Bribery of judges or jurors, or receiving the bribe. 2. Perjury. 3. Prison breaking. 4. Rescue. 5. Barratry. 6. Maintenance. 7. Champerty. 8. Compounding felonies. 9. Misprision of felonies. 10. Oppression. 11. Extortion. 12. Suppressing evidence. 13. Negligence or misconduct in inferior officers. 14. Obstructing legal process. 15. Embracery.
    10.-5. Public peace. 1. Challenges to fight a duel. 2. Riots, routs and unlawful assemblies. 3. Affrays. 4. Libels.
    11.-6. Public trade. 1. Cheats. 2. Forestalling. S. Regrating. 4. Engrossing. 5. Monopolies.
    12.-7. Chastity. 1. Sodomy. 2. Adultery. 3. Incest. 4. Bigamy. 5. Fornication.
    13.-8. Decency and morality. 1. Public indecency. 2. Drunkenness. 3. Violating the grave.
    14.-9. Public police and economy. 1. Common nuisances. 2. Keeping disorderly houses and bawdy houses. 3. Idleness, vagrancy, and beggary.
    15.-10. Public. policy. 1. Gambling. 2. Illegal lotteries.
    16.-11. Individuals. 1. Homicide, which is justifiable, excusable or felonious. 2. Mayhem. 3. Rape. 4. Poisoning, with intent to murder. 5. Administering drugs to a woman quick with child to cause, miscarriage. 6. Concealing death of bastard child. 7. Assault and battery, which is either simple or with intent to commit some other crime. 8. kidnapping. 9. False imprisonment. 10. Abduction.
    17.-12. Private property. 1. Burglary. 2. Arson. 3. Robbery. 4., Forgery. Counterfeiting. 6. Larceny. 7. Receiving stolen goods, knowing them to have been stolen, or theft-bote. 8. Malicious mischief.
    18.-13. The public, individuals, or their property, according to the intent of the criminal. 1. Conspiracy.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
- Ramiz Micivoda, by the acts described in Counts 10, 11 and 12, committed the criminal offense of War Crimes against Prisoners of War under Article 175(1)(a) as read with Article 180(1) of the CC BiH, all in conjunction with Article 29 of the CC BiH,
The goal of these organizations is destabilization and violent change of Syria's political and constitutional order, having been listed as terrorist groups and organizations by the UN SC 1999 Resolution R-1267 dated 30 May 2013, whose members, by their daily armed actions and attacks on the population, by killing, unlawful incarceration, taking of hostages and other actions, intend to force Syria's legitimate authorities to change the constitutional order and political regime, whereby he committed the criminal offenses he has been charged with, stated the BiH Court.
In the mentioned period, as he stated, no criminal offenses were committed, which would cause greater disturbance among the citizens.
Busovaca responsible for the continued criminal offense of Tax Evasion or Fraud under Article 210(2) of the CC BiH as read with Articles 54 and 124 of the CC BiH, so the Court fined the legal entity with 100,000.00 KM (one hundred thousand convertible marks).
Following the investigation, the Cantonal Prosecutor's Office, after hearing a number of witnesses and analyzing the material documentation, confirmed that there are grounds for suspicion that the accused had committed the criminal offense that he is charged with.
Under the executive order, legal residents could be deported if they "have been convicted of any criminal offense" or even if they have only "been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved." 
Continue reading "Swiss Court Rules Nazi Salute Not Always A Criminal Offense" at...
RAMALLAH, February 19, 2013 (WAFA) -- A little bit less than 10% of households in Palestine - 7.1% in the West Bank and 13.4% in Gaza Strip - were victims of criminal offenses during fourth quarter of 2012, according to a survey published Tuesday by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
They also had increased risks of physical abuse and referral to the juvenile justice system for theft and other criminal offenses.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office jointly launched a consultation to decide whether to introduce a specific criminal offense into law.
The line graph shows the average size of the prison population according to the type of criminal offense.
Waddams first explains that libel was treated as either a common law or criminal offense. Slander in contrast was only treated as a criminal offense when special damages were claimed for imputing to the victim a crime or loathsome disease, or disparaging his or her trade.