A quick overview of common crimes
Crimes are broken into a number of categories to make them easier to discuss and understand. Typically crimes are discussed as “crimes against the person”, “crimes against property” and other crimes”. We will use these categories to organize this quick general overview of some of the most common crimes.
Crimes against the Person
Assault is the crime of causing another person to apprehend or fear immediate physical violence. You can be charged with assault if you simply caused someone to fear that they were going to be subject to physical violence, even if you never actually intended to harm them or never made physical contact with them.
Battery is the unlawful touching of another person. You can be charged with battery if you touch another person in any way, without their consent.
Sex Crimes is a general term that can refer to a number of types of non-consensual sexual touching. Sex crimes include charges relating to Rape, Incest, Child Sexual Abuse and Child Pornography. Convictions relating to sex crimes can have some of the most permanent effects on the lives of the accused as there may be lifetime reporting requirements as a sexual offender along with limitations on where you can live and work.
Homicide is the act of killing another person. When homicide is considered a punishable, criminal action in the United States charges will be filed against the accused as either Murder or Manslaughter.
Murder is the unlawful killing of another person with malice aforethought, “aforethought” is often referred to as “intent”. Murder is generally divided into two categories: First Degree Murder and Second Degree Murder. First Degree Murder is willful, premeditated murder. Second Degree Murder is murder that is not premeditated.
Manslaughter is the killing of another human being with some sort of mitigating factor that may limit an individual’s criminal responsibility for the death of the other person. Manslaughter is generally broken down into two categories: Voluntary Manslaughter and Involuntary Manslaughter. Voluntary Manslaughter is an appropriate charge when an individual kills with malice aforethought but there are mitigating factors to consider or when someone is killed but the accused only intended to inflict serious injury but did not intend to kill. Involuntary Manslaughter is an appropriate charge when the accused did not intent to kill but a death occurred as a result of his or her actions.
Crimes against Property
Theft Crimes very generally refer to taking the property of another person without their permission or consent.
Burglary refers to breaking and entering a building with the intent to commit a crime inside the building. Generally burglary charges are brought when someone breaks into another person’s home or place of business and takes the property of another person or causes damage to their property.
Robbery is the crime of using force or the threat of force to take something from another person.
Arson is the crime of intentionally and deliberately setting fire to the property of another. Generally speaking a person can be charged with arson for setting fire to a home or commercial building as well as the intentional burning of land.
Computer Crimes often involve the misuse of personal or business owned computers. These crimes may involve the creation and distribution of viruses, the distribution of illegal information or images and illegally obtaining personal information via computers or the internet.
Weapons Crimes are crimes that often involve the illegal possession or distribution of weapons. These crimes include possession by an individual who cannot legally possess a fire arm or the possession of an illegal fire arm. They also include the possession of other illegal types of weapons or the illegal distribution of any type of weapon.