What is "Crime?"
- A crime is defined as a specific act of commission or omission that is in violation of the law for which a punishment is described.
- There are two parts to a crime: the actus reus, the acts or omissions that make up the elements of the offense, and the mens rea, the state of mind indicating criminal intent.
- Crimes are punishable by law, and based on the severity, are classified as a felony or a misdemeanor.
- A felony is a serious crime that is punishable by: death or a incarceration (jail) of at least one year and a possible fine. There are six classes of felonies, Class 1 being the worst, and Class 6 being the least worst.
- A misdemeanor is a lesser crime that is punishable by: less than one year in a local prison and/or the possibility of a fine. There are four classes of misdemeanors, Class 1 being the most serious, and Class 4 being the least serious.
- Depending on the severity of the crimes, some offenses may be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the crime.
- A capital offense is a crime that is punishable by death, or capital punishment.
- Different rules apply for minors, status offenses, any violation of the law that does not apply to anyone over the age of 18, but the punishments for status offenses depend on your local ordinance. Examples of status offenses include, truancy, curfew violations, and running away from home.