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What You Should Know About Different Types of Criminal Offenses

Whether you’re just beginning your career as a criminal justice professional or have been in the field for some time, it’s important to cont...

Criminal Offenses
Whether you’re just beginning your career as a criminal justice professional or have been in the field for some time, it’s important to continue learning about the intricacies of the field. Whether you work in law enforcement, are an attorney, or perform some other role that touches on criminal offenses, it’s essential to know what you’re working with. You might also be studying to take the test to become an officer in your local department, or looking into transferring as a Criminal Justice major at your local community college. Either way, understanding the different types of criminal offenses is critical. There are many different areas of criminal offenses that can land someone in legal trouble. Depending on the details of their crime and its consequences, they could face anything from probation to capital punishment. To understand what you should know about these various types of offenses, read on…

What is a Criminal Offence?

A criminal offense is any illegal act that is punishable by law. Since our society holds certain things as inherently valuable, certain behaviors and outcomes are also deemed valuable. This means that if you break the law, you’re liable for punishment. Most often, these offenses are punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both. Certain offenses, such as murder or rape, are often considered the most serious types of crimes. Depending on the law, a criminal offense might be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, and they often result in less severe punishments.

The Basics of Criminal Law

Criminal law is considered the branch of law designed to prosecute individuals or corporations that break any of the established rules or laws. Criminal law can be broken down into three main branches: - Criminal Procedure: This branch focuses on how the government brings individuals who have committed crimes to justice. - Criminal Policy: This branch aims to define the nature of crimes and the punishments for committing them. - Criminal Investigation: This branch focuses on how governments go about investigating crimes to bring the perpetrators to justice. Each of these areas plays an important role in the criminal justice system. In fact, all of them are necessary for a system that holds individuals responsible for breaking the law.

Crimes Against Persons

Crimes against persons are offenses that target individuals. They are often committed against someone you know, such as a spouse, friend, or colleague. To be charged with a crime against a person, the prosecution must show that you unlawfully injured or killed another person. You may also be charged if you unlawfully restrained another person or put them in danger. There are several different types of crimes against people:

- Assault: An assault is when you threaten to harm another person or put them in immediate danger. Assault charges can also come into play when you intentionally cause another person bodily harm.

- Kidnapping: If you unlawfully remove someone from their surroundings against their will, you could be charged with kidnapping.

- Murder: Murder charges are brought when a person unlawfully kills another person or causes their death.

- Rape: Rape charges are brought against a person who forcibly and unlawfully sexual penetrates another person.

- Robbery: A robbery occurs when a person unlawfully takes another person’s property with the threat of violence or force.

Crimes Against Property

Crimes against property are offenses that involve damaging or destroying someone else’s property. If you damage or steal another person’s property, you could be charged with a crime against property. There are various types of crimes against property:

- Burglary: Breaking and entering into someone else’s property unlawfully with the intent to commit a crime is considered burglary. - False Pretenses: Falsely obtaining someone’s property by making false promises is called false pretenses.

- Forgery: Forging another person’s signature on a document to unlawfully acquire property is called forgery.

- Larceny: Unlawfully taking another person’s property with the intention of keeping it is called larceny.

- Malicious Destruction of Property: Destroying another person’s property with malice is called malicious destruction of property.

- Possession of Stolen Property: If you possess another person’s stolen property, you could be charged with possession of stolen property.

Crimes Involving Fraud or Misrepresentation

Crimes involving fraud or misrepresentation are offenses that are committed through deceit. They involve a person intentionally misleading another person or bringing false information to the table to gain an advantage. There are several different types of these crimes:

- Conspiracy: Conspiring with another person to commit a crime is called conspiracy.

- Extortion: Threatening to commit a crime to unlawfully acquire property is called extortion.

- Fraud: Unlawfully gaining an advantage over another person by deceiving them is called fraud.

- Obstruction of Justice: Intentionally preventing someone from bringing you to justice is called obstruction of justice.

- Perjury: Intentionally making false statements under oath is called perjury.

Summing up

As you can see, there are many different types of criminal offenses, each with its own specific set of circumstances and potential consequences. Whether you work in law enforcement, are an attorney, or perform some other role that touches on criminal offenses, it’s important to know what you’re working with. Understanding the different types of criminal offenses is critical for any criminal justice professional. With this knowledge, you can better equip yourself to handle the types of situations you’re likely to encounter in your field.

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