An offense that was a crime under the common law. Nearly all
crimes, including offenses that were common-law crimes, are now defined by
statute and are, thus, statutory crimes. Also, most states no longer
recognize common-law crimes.
A crime, such as committing fraud over the Internet, that
requires the knowledge or utilization of computer technology. Also called
crime against nature
One of the three sexual acts (oral sex and anal sex,
whether with a person of the opposite or same sex, and sex with animals) that
were considered crimes under the common law and that, in some cases, are
currently a statutory crime. Also called unnatural act. See also bestiality
crime of passion
A crime committed in a moment of sudden or extreme anger or
other emotional disturbance sufficient enough for a reasonable person to lose
control and not reflect on what he or she is doing.
crime of violenc
A crime motivated mostly by bias, ill will, or hatred toward the
victim’s actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, country of national
origin, religion, or sexual orientation. Many states impose extra penalties if
a crime is committed due to such motivation. Also called bias crime. See also freedom of speech.
A crime whose commission offends the public’s morality.
One of the three crimes (attempt, conspiracy, solicitation) that
are steps toward the commission of another crime. Also called anticipatory
- Under common law, any one of the crimes that were considered
particularly dishonorable and the punishment for which included ineligibility
to hold public office, to serve on a jury, or to testify at a civil or criminal
trial. These crimes included treason, any felony, forgery, and perjury, among
- Any crime punishable by death or by imprisonment of
more than one year. See also punishment.
A crime that is defined by a person’s condition or character
rather than by any wrongful act that they have done. For example, the “crime”
of being an alcoholic as opposed to being intoxicated in public or drinking
alcohol while driving a vehicle. The United States Supreme Court has held that
to impose a sanction for such crimes violates the ban found in the Eighth
Amendment to the United States Constitution against cruel and unusual
punishment. See also vagrancy
- An offense that was not a crime under the common law,
but has been made a crime by a statute.
- Broadly, any crime that is defined
by a statute.
See also common-law
A crime, such as drug use, gambling, and a crime against nature,
that directly harms no person or property except that of the consenting
Any crime that has as an element the use, attempted use, or
threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another or
any felony that entails a substantial risk that physical force will be used
against the person or property of another. Also called a crime of violence.
Any business or financial non-violent crime, such as bribery,
consumer fraud, corruption, embezzlement, and stock manipulation, committed by
business executives, professionals, and public officials.