What constitutes as a crime is defined by criminal law. A person having acted using behaviour deemed harmful to society is prosecuted in court, a position defined as a criminal. There are in fact numerous different types of crime. These are just a few of them, ranging from the main types of crime to the more specific crimes that make up the majority of the criminal activity in society.

1. Personal crimes

Personal crimes are a main type of crime and are defined as offences against the person. Oftentimes, personal crimes are those that involve physical or mental harm to another person. These types of crime include assault, battery, false imprisonment, kidnapping, murder, involuntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and rape and sexual assault. Since these crimes are so severe, contacting a criminal lawyer for legal representation is absolutely essential.

2. Property crimes

Property crimes, as you may assume, are offences against property. These types of crimes do not necessarily include harm done to a person. They are mainly interference with the right to use and/or enjoy property. The main crimes included under this main crime type is larceny, robbery which can also be a personal crime if it results in physical or mental harm to a person, burglary, arson, embezzlement, forgery, false pretenses, and receipt of stolen goods.

3. Inchoate crimes

Inchoate crimes identify ‘incomplete crimes’ or rather crimes that were started but not completed. For a person to be tried for an inchoate crime, they must have taken a substantial step towards committing a crime, one which establishes their intent and commitment to commit said crime. Inchoate crimes include attempted robbery, solicitation, and conspiracy.

4. Statutory crimes

Statutory crimes are those that violate a specific statute at the state or federal level. They can either involve property offences or personal offences and include crimes like alcohol-related drunk driving charges or selling alcohol to a minor.

5. Felonies

Felony is one of two main classifications of crime, relating to the seriousness of the act. A crime which is defined as a felony is considered more serious i.e. murder, kidnapping, or robbery. Oftentimes, it carries at least a year in prison.

6. Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are the opposite of felonies, somewhat less serious i.e. shoplifting or a DUI. Misdemeanors are usually assigned a fine and/or jail sentence of less than a year. These types of crimes are oftentimes non-violent and do not require extensive analysis to determine the cause or understand the psychology behind why a crime was committed.

7. Violent crimes

Another way in which we separate crime is between violent and non-violent acts. Violent crime involves physical assault, rape and sexual assault, and homicide. The data on violent crime is somewhat incomplete as statistics relating to rape and sexual assault are prone to criticism. Although some are premeditated, violent crimes are oftentimes spontaneous or the result of intense emotions like anger, jealousy, or hatred. In the majority of cases involving violent crime, the perpetrator and victim oftentimes know each other.

8. White-collar crimes

While-collar crime are crimes committed by a person of high social status, including everything from corporate fraud to employee theft. Much of white-collar crime focuses on fraud by physicians, attorneys, and other professionals. Corporate crime is prevalent under white-collar crime, including price fixing and false advertising. Financial crimes that cost $100s of billions pale in comparison to the significant consequences of corporate violence which includes corporate actions which result in the killing of people, maiming of people, or which leaves them ill.

9. Organized crimes

Organized crime refers to criminal activity which has been perpetrated by a gang, group, or organization whose reason for existing is to commit crime. Although organized crime flourished throughout the 1920s and we don’t necessarily hear about it as much today, it is still prevalent. Government has successfully been able to control a lot of organized crime by focusing on arresting, prosecuting, and pursuing a variety of preventative strategies.

10. Consensual crimes

Another type of crime is consensual crime, sometimes referred to as ‘victimless crime’, wherein a person engages in a behaviour that violates the law, but which does not have a defined victim. Consensual crime includes illegal drug use, prostitution, gaming, and others. Citizens engaging in these crimes are doing so voluntarily and willingly. Our government has always responded to consensual crime by banning these behaviours however there is evidence suggesting and arguments made that these bans have only done harm to stakeholders involved in consensual crimes.

11. Violations

Violations can be considered less serious than misdemeanors and usually include incidents such as traffic violations, city ordinances, or municipal violations. These crimes may sometimes be considered misdemeanors however they are mainly classified as violations and are usually provided a fine instead of any sort of court case or possibility of a jail term.

12. Larceny and theft

Although larceny and theft have been mentioned in other categories on this list of crime types, why they’re in their separate category here is because they are – by far – the most committed crime in North America. Every year, there are more than 7 million larcenies in the United States, comprising approximately 60 percent of all crime in the country. The second most committed crime is burglary which happens roughly 2 million times a year – a far cry from the number of larceny incidents.