Criminal offenses are the action that violates the law. They can be classified by the level of harm caused and severity of the offense and can be categorized as either misdemeanors or felonies. The law determines the maximum penalties and sentences that can be imposed for each offense. A comprehensive overview of these classifications is important as it will help when taking legal action. Though there are many forms of criminal offenses, here are five:

1.  Property Crimes

Whenever there is an unlawful destruction or deprivation of someone’s property, that qualifies the act as a property crime. There should also be no physical harm to the victim or anyone on the property. These offenses include:

  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Theft (larceny)
  • Shoplifting

While these crimes don’t cause any bodily injuries, they bring significant emotional turmoil and financial problems to the affected party. They also tend to be influenced by socioeconomic aspects like economic hardships and poor security policies.

2.  Inchoate Crimes

These anticipatory crimes involve preparatory acts or showing intention to commit a crime but end it halfway. The justice system works towards preventing harm from happening in the first place rather than being reactive. This makes incomplete crimes punishable, and good examples include solicitation and conspiracy.

Whether the incomplete crime was due to timely intervention by the law enforcement teams or factors beyond your control, a perpetrator can be punished with the same degree connected to the underlying offense. A criminal defense attorney may be better positioned to fight for lighter judgments during these times.

3.  Statutory Crimes

These are the crimes forbidden by the statute. Unlike common law crimes based on legal precedents and judicial decisions, they’re government authorities’ enactments. The list is long on the type of activities falling into this group, from traffic violations, public intoxication, and drug possession to driving under the influence (DUI).

Driving without a license and unregistered vehicles also fall into these categories. While driving an unregistered vehicle is allowed in some states, you must work within the set time limits to avoid getting penalized. For instance, you have 30 days to sort out the registration after buying a new or used car in Florida. Work with an attorney to expound more on the complexities involved and how to avoid being penalized with a misdemeanor charge.

4.  White-Collar Crimes

These offenses arise when an individual or organization holding a position of trust or authority performs contrary to the law. This can be through engaging in fraudulent acts, fund embezzlement, or operating in deceitful ways.

The consequences of the malicious acts are damaging, with huge potential to affect the economy, making them highly punishable. Compared to other crimes, these white-collar crimes can be hard to detect and take a long time due to their sophisticated nature.

5.  Crime Against a Person

Personal crimes involve actions causing harm or potentially harming another individual. The aftermath often causes physical and emotional effects, be it battery, assault, kidnapping, or sexual assault. Every category has different charge levels, which depend on the specific case. For instance, in a homicide, judgment will be influenced by factors like intent and premeditation.

Both parties need solid evidence to prove their story is true. To prevent and address these crimes, you require comprehensive strategies that focus on both law enforcement and support services for victims, including:

  • Counseling
  • Shelter
  • Legal assistance


The list is extensive on the types of offenses that are defined by law. Getting comprehensive knowledge is a sure way of knowing the legal steps to seek and whether the case is viable. It will also help you protect your rights when wrongly accused of a crime.

Featured photo by Kindel Media on Pexels

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