Four Classifications of Crime According to Criminal Law

Law concept shotLaw concept shotThe word crime traces its origins to the Latin word “crimin” and its variation “crimen,” which translates to “accusation” or “misdeed,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Further dissected, the word is believed to be derived from the verb “cernere.” The first half of the word consists of the variant “cri-” which means “to decide, sift or distinguish,” while the second half consists of the suffix “-men, which is linked to the end of words to transform them into a noun.

After examining its etymology, you now have an idea of what “crime” means. Crime is a deliberate offense that a person, whether coerced or not, commits. It will be one of the first concepts your instructor will discuss to you once you begin your criminal investigator training. Understanding the origins and the nature of crime is central to your success in solving one.

Arson, larceny, rape, fraud, terrorism — these are just some of the words that you have probably heard before that are associated with the word crime. There are many forms of crime, however. They are divided into four major classifications:


As its name suggests, personal crimes are crimes committed against a person, which affects them either physically or psychologically. Rape, assault, and murder are examples of personal crimes. Robbery, which is also categorized as a crime against property, is also considered a personal crime in that it causes physical and emotional distress to the victim.


Property crimes are offenses committed against property. Ownership of property, whether a car or savings, is one of the basic rights of a person, and preventing someone from enjoying that liberty through unlawful ways merits punishment. Fraud, forgery, theft, and robbery are categorized under crimes against property.


Inchoate offenses are crimes committed to fulfill another crime. Conspiracy, attempt (i.e., to commit manslaughter, robbery, etc.) and bribery are types of inchoate offenses.


Statutory crimes, as it sounds, are crimes committed against the government as well as the laws passed by its legislative body. Insider trading, statutory rape, drug trafficking, and drunk driving are classified as statutory crimes.

An Overview of the 5 Objectives of the Criminal Justice System

The Right Timing

Criminal Law in HoustonEvery second all over the world, crimes are committed against persons, property, or even against statutes themselves. It is a wonder why people commit crimes despite knowledge of the existence of criminal laws that can provide punishment for wrongdoing. Is this a symptom of a bigger problem that is a reflection of the inadequacies of the criminal justice system?

Maybe you are also wondering what the purpose of criminal law is if every moment there is someone who is violating the rights of others. While the defendant can always seek help from a criminal lawyer, this is not a guaranteed escape plan from penalties and consequences. There are essentially five purposes or objectives of criminal law. David A. Nachtigall and other criminal lawyers from Houston share more information below:


Families of victims of crimes often seek some form of retribution for the wrongdoing done to them. This is perhaps one of the more evident reasons for the existence of the criminal justice system. People who commit crimes should also be punished for their crimes although not necessarily in the same manner inflicted on the victim of the crime.


Judgments made regarding crimes can act as deterrent to future criminal acts both by the defendant and by the general public. The punishments or penalties imposed during the sentencing can serve as discouragement to those in the general public not to make the same mistake or commit similar crimes. For the defendant, the sentencing is supposed to deter him from committing criminal acts in the future.


For the general population, an individual convicted of a crime must not be allowed to mingle with the rest of society without any guarantees that the person will not do the same crime again. In incapacitation, the goal of criminal law is to effectively protect the public from the criminal acts of the defendant. In some societies, this is carried out in the form of a death sentence or banishment. In most societies, however, it can mean life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.


One of the often forgotten objectives of the criminal justice system, rehabilitation aims to transform the offender into becoming a valuable member of the general population once he serves his time in prison. Here, they are taught skills that will render them useful in general society.


In some forms of crimes, the offender may be ordered to restore or repair any damages inflicted on the victim. The purpose is to restore the status or position of the victim to his pre-crime state.

These are the five objectives of the criminal justice system. While they may seem light at first glance, they nonetheless serve their purpose.