crime

crime
A positive or negative act in violation of penal law; an offense against the State or United States. "Crime" and "misdemeanor", properly speaking, are synonymous terms; though in common usage "crime" is made to denote such offenses as are of a more serious nature. In general, violation of an ordinance is not a crime. A crime may be defined to be any act done in violation of those duties which an individual owes to the community, and for the breach of which the law has provided that the offender shall make satisfaction to the public. A crime or public offense is an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it, and to which is annexed, upon conviction, either, or a combination, of the following punishments:
(1) death;
(2) imprisonment;
(3) fine;
(4) removal from office; or
(5) disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit.
While many crimes have their origin at common law, most have been created by statute; and, in many states, such have been codified. In addition, there are both state and federal crimes (as to the latter, see Title 18, U.S.C.A.).
See also classification of crimes
- continuing offense
- degrees of crime
- elements of crime
- petty offense
- political crime
General Classification
Crimes are classified for various purposes, the principal classification being that which divides crimes into felonies and misdemeanors. Other classifications are:
(a) crimes which are mala in se versus crimes mala prohibita;
(b) infamous crimes versus crimes which are not infamous;
(c) crimes involving moral turpitude versus those which do not involve moral turpitude;
(d) major crimes versus petty crimes; and
(e) common law crimes versus statutory crimes
@ capital crime
Crime punishable by death
+ capital case or crime
One in or for which death penalty may, but need not necessarily, be imposed
@ common law crimes
Such crimes as are punishable by the force of the common law, as distinguished from crimes created by statute
@ continuous crime
One consisting of a continuous series of acts, which endures after the period of consummation, as, the offense of carrying concealed weapons. In the case of instantaneous crimes, the statute of limitations begins to run with the consummation, while in the case of continuous crimes it only begins with the cessation of the criminal conduct or act
@ crime against law of nations
Term which is understood to include crimes which all nations agree to punish such as murder and rape
@ crime against nature
Deviate sexual intercourse per os or per anum between human beings who are not husband and wife and any form of sexual intercourse with an animal. Model Penal Code, No. 213.0.
Crime of buggery or sodomy
@ crime against property
Term used to describe a crime, the object of which is property as contrasted with person; e.g. larceny
@ crime of omission
Any offense, the gravamen of which is the failure to act when there is an obligation to act. May amount to manslaughter if the failure is wilful, wanton and reckless
@ crime of passion
A crime committed in the heat of passion.
@ crime of violence
An offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense. 18 U.S.C.A. No. 16.
Crimes of violence include voluntary manslaughter, murder, rape, mayhem, kidnaping, robbery, burglary or housebreaking in the nighttime, extortion accompanied by threats of violence, assault with a dangerous weapon or assault with intent to commit any offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, arson punishable as a felony, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offenses
@ crimes mala in se
Crimes mala in se embrace acts immoral or wrong in themselves, such as burglary, larceny, arson, rape, murder, and breaches of peace
@ crimes mala prohibita
Crimes mala prohibita embrace things prohibited by statute as infringing on others' rights, though no moral turpitude may attach, and constituting crimes only because they are so prohibited. Felony.
See felony.
@ infamous crime
A crime which entails infamy upon one who has committed it. The term "infamous", i.e., without fame or good report-was applied at common law to certain crimes, upon the conviction of which a person became incompetent to testify as a witness, upon the theory that a person would not commit so heinous a crime unless he was so depraved as to be unworthy of credit. These crimes are treason, felony, and the crimen falsi.
A crime punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or penitentiary, with or without hard labor, is an infamous crime, within the provision of the fifth amendment of the constitution that "no person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury." Mackin v. U. S., 117 U.S. 348, 6 S.Ct. 777, 29 L.Ed. 909; Brede v. Powers, 263 U.S. 4, 44 S.Ct. 8, 68 L.Ed. 132.
It is not the character of the crime but the nature of the punishment which renders the crime "infamous." Whether an offense is infamous depends on the punishment which may be imposed therefor, not on the punishment which was imposed. United States v. Mbreland, 258 U.S. 433, 42 S.Ct. 368, 370, 66 L.Ed. 700.
@ organized crime
Term used to describe that form of crime which is the product of groups and organizations as contrasted with the crime planned and committed by individuals without organizational backing; gambling and narcotics are common subjects of organized crime.
@ quasi crimes
This term embraces all offenses not crimes or misdemeanors, but that are in the nature of crimes. A class of offenses against the public which have not been declared crimes, but wrongs against the general or local public which it is proper should be repressed or punished by forfeitures and penalties. This would embrace all qui tarn actions and forfeitures imposed for the neglect or violation of a public duty. A quasi crime would not embrace an indictable offense, whatever might be its grade, but simply forfeitures for a wrong done to the public, whether voluntary or involuntary, where a penalty is given, whether recoverable by criminal or civil process.
Also, offenses for which some person other than the actual perpetrator is responsible, the perpetrator being presumed to act by command of the responsible party. Sometimes, injuries which have been unintentionally caused.
- D.W.I., (driving while intoxicated) offenses are sometimes classified as quasi crimes. Statutory crimes. Those created by statutes, as distinguished from such as are known to, or cognizable by, the common law.
See e.g. U.S.Code, Title 18.
@ white-collar crime
Generally included under this classification of crimes are antitrust violations, bribery, computer crime, criminal copyright infringement, environmental crimes, extortion, food and drug violations, government contract fraud, mail and wire fraud, RICO offenses, securities and tax fraud, theft of trade secrets
@

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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Synonyms:
, , (especially against human law), / , , , , , , (of a violent or high-handed nature)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • crime — [ krim ] n. m. • 1160; lat. crimen « accusation » 1 ♦ Sens large Manquement très grave à la morale, à la loi. ⇒ attentat, 1. délit, faute, 1. forfait , infraction, 3. mal, péché. Crime contre nature. « L intérêt que l on accuse de tous nos crimes …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • crime — / krīm/ n [Middle French, from Latin crimen fault, accusation, crime] 1: conduct that is prohibited and has a specific punishment (as incarceration or fine) prescribed by public law compare delict, tort 2: an offense against public law …   Law dictionary

  • crime — W2S2 [kraım] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Latin; Origin: crimen judgment, accusation, crime ] 1.) [U] illegal activities in general ▪ We moved here ten years ago because there was very little crime. ▪ Women commit far less crime than men. ▪ Police… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • crime — CRIME. s. m. Action meschante & punissable par les loix. Crime capital. grand crime. crime atroce, detestable. crime enorme. crime inoüi, noir, irremissible. commettre, faire un crime. faire un crime à quelqu un de quelque chose, pour dire,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • crime — CRIME. s. m. Mauvaise action que les lois punissent. Crime capital. Grand crime. Crime atroce, détestable. Crime énorme. Crime inouï, noir, irrémissible. Commettre, faire un crime. Punir un crime. Pardonner un crime. Abolir un crime. L abolition… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • crime — [ kraım ] noun *** 1. ) count an illegal activity or action: commit a crime (=do something illegal): She was unaware that she had committed a crime. the scene of a crime (=where it happened): There were no apparent clues at the scene of the crime …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • crime — [kraɪm] noun LAW 1. [countable] a dishonest or immoral action that can be punished by law: • Insider trading is a crime here and in the U.S. 2. [uncountable] illegal activities in general: • We moved here ten years ago because there was very… …   Financial and business terms

  • Crime — (kr[imac]m), n. [F. crime, fr. L. crimen judicial decision, that which is subjected to such a decision, charge, fault, crime, fr. the root of cernere to decide judicially. See {Certain}.] 1. Any violation of law, either divine or human; an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Crime — 〈[kraım] m. 6 oder n. 15〉 I 〈zählb.〉 Verbrechen, Gewalttat II 〈unz.; Sammelbez. für〉 Kriminalität; →a. Sex and Crime [engl.] * * * Crime [kra̮im ], das; s [engl. crime < afrz. crime < lat. crimen = Verbrechen]: engl. Bez. für: Verbrechen,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • crime — Crime, et cas qu on a commis, Crimen. Un crime pour lequel y a peine de mort, ou d infamie, Capitale facinus, vel crimen. Crime de lese majesté, Perduellio. Pour certain crime ou cas, Certo nomine maleficij. Commettre un crime, ou faire une faute …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • crime — mid 13c., sinfulness, from O.Fr. crimne (12c., Mod.Fr. crime), from L. crimen (gen. criminis) charge, indictment, accusation; crime, fault, offense, perhaps from cernere to decide, to sift (see CRISIS (Cf. crisis)). But Klein (citing Brugmann)… …   Etymology dictionary

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