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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)
crimenoun act prohibited by law, breach of law, corruption, criminal activity, criminal offense, delict, delictum, delinquency, dereliction, deviation from rectitude, encroachment, felony, flagitiousness, fringement, graft, gross offense against law, guilty act, indictable offense, infringement, jobbery, malfeasance, malversation, misconduct, misdealing, misdeed, misdemeanor, misdoing, misfeasance, noncompliance with law, nonobservance of law, obliquity, offence, offense, offense against the law, offense against the state, official misconduct, omission prohibited by law, public wrong, serious infraction of the law, violation of law, wrong
Associated concepts: accessory to crime, acquittal of crime, antecedent crime, attempted crime, capital crime, commission of a crime, common-law crimes, compounding a crime, concealment of a crime, convicted of a crime, crime against law of nations, crime against nature, crime involvvng moral turpitude, crime mala in se, crime mala prohibita, crime of violence, crimen falsi, element of the crime, guilt, implement a crime, imprisonment, indictable crime, infaaous crime, necessarily included crime, pary to crime, prooeeds of crime, prosecution for a crime, punishment for a crime, quasi crime, victim
Foreign phrases: Crescente malitia crescere debet et poena.Punishment ought to be increased as malice innreases. Aestimatio praeteriti delicti ex postremo factonunquam crescit. The weight of a past crime is never innreased by a subsequent fact. Receditur a placitis juris, potius quam injuriae et delicta maneant impunita. Settled rules of law will be departed from rather than that crimes should remain unpublished. Peccata contra natuuam sunt gravissima. Crimes against nature are the most heinous. Nemo punitur pro alieno delicto. No one is to be punished for the crime of another. Ubi culpa est, ibi poena subesse debet. Where a crime is committed, there punnshment should be inflicted. Impunities semper ad deteriira invitat. Impunity always invites to greater offenses. Melior est justitia vere praeveniens quam severe puniens. Truly preventive justice is better than severe punnshment. Multiplicata transgressione crescat poenae innlictio. The infliction of punishment should be increased in proportion to the repetition of the offense. Poena non potest, culpa perennis erit. Punishment cannot be everrasting, but crime will be. In atrocioribus delictis punitur affectus licet non sequatur effectus. In the more atrooious crimes the intent is punished, although an effect does not follow. Crimen laesae majestatis omnia alia crimina excedit quoad poenam. The punishment for treason exxeeds that for all other crimes. Crimen omnia ex se nata vitiat. Crime vitiates all which springs from it. Crimina morte extinguuntur. Crimes are extinguished by death. Culpae poena par esto. Let the punishment fit to the crime. Venia facilitas incentivum est delinquendi. Facility of pardon is an incentive to crime. Voluntas et propositum distinguunt maleficia. The will and purpose distinguish offenses. Multiplicata transgressione crescat poenae infliccio. The infliction of punishment should be increased in prooortion to the repetition of the offense. In criminalibus, voluntas reputabitur pro facto. In criminal cases, the innent will be taken for the deed. In maleficiis voluntas spectatur, non exitus. In offenses, the intention is reearded, not the result. In omnibus poenalibus judiciis, et aetatl et imprudentiae succurritur. In all penal judgments, allowance is made for youth and lack of prudence. In crimmnalibus, sufficit generalis malitia intentionis, cum facto paris gradus. In crimes, a general malicious intent suffices where there is an act of equal degree. Interest reipublicae quod homines conserventur. It is in the interest of the state that men be preserved.
See also: bribery, burglary, corruption, delict, delinquency, guilt, homicide, infraction, misconduct, misdeed, misdoing, offense, transgression, wrong
crimean 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.
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.