5 Different Types of Criminal Offences You Should Know About

There may be horrifying cases when you might face criminal charges. Facing criminal charges is a grave matter and potentially it brings serious consequences. Hence you need to understand what are the different types of criminal offenses and how to find a suitable lawyer you can trust.

Although many myths and misrepresentations prevail in society regarding types of criminal offenses, in reality, the Law Society has a set of rules that would take into a more in-depth insight and let you find out what are most common types of crimes. And what to do if faced with such intractable charges.

Defining Criminal Law – A Deeper Insight

To let you know ‘Criminal Law’ is a system of Law that focuses on punishing those who commit criminal acts. Ideally, legislative statutes set up types of criminal offenses and punishments.

However, Criminal Law varies based on jurisdiction.

Generally, four main types of crimes or aspects of common law-based Criminal Law must be proven to convict a defendant of an alleged crime.

Did you know one of the essential external element of a crime is ‘Actus Reus’ a Latin term which means “guilty act.” According to criminal law, an “act” needs to happen to be termed as a crime.

How Do We Define An Act?

Any bodily movement done voluntary or involuntary is termed as ‘act.’ Also, commission, omission, or possession can be called as all forms of “acts.” However, when you are charged with actus reus, remember to prove it the suspect must voluntarily engage in the act.

This is for you to understand that it is always necessary to prove a person’s intent to commit a crime in order to establish liability.

How Can Crime Be Proven?

The main focus is to identify whether the defendant has intentionally committed the crime or unknowingly acted in a way that resulted in the crime.

Now let us understand what the types of Criminal Law & Offenses are:

Criminal Law is categorized under two major types -Felony and Misdemeanor.


This is a severe criminal offense within common-law countries. As stated by The United States law, these crimes are punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year. Felony crimes might include the following-

Aggravated assault
Tax evasion
Obstruction of justice


On the other hand, misdemeanor offenses are considered low seriousness crimes and punishable to a lesser degree than felony charges.

The punishment for misdemeanors ranges from fines and loss of privileges up to a year in prison.

Take a look at the misdemeanor offenses:

Public intoxication
Reckless driving
Disorderly conduct
Simple assault

There are still other types of Criminal Law such as infractions, violations, minor offenses, and regulatory offenses.

However, if you delve deeper – classification of crimes can seem to be limitless in range and scope.

Here are 5 Different Types of Criminal Offences You Should Know About

  1. Personal Crimes: Offenses that result in the harm of another individual (both physical and mental). This crime falls under ‘offense against a person.’ They include:
  • False imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Homicide
  • Rape
  • Any sexual offense
  • Property Crimes: Such breaching of LLaw involves the interference of another’s property. These offenses don’t necessarily include harming a person; instead, this crime means trying to use another person’s property. These crimes include:
  • Larceny (theft)
  • Burglary (penalties for burglary)
  • Arson
  • Receipt of stolen goods.
  • False pretenses
  • Inchoate Crimes: Intended criminal acts that assisted in the delegation of another crime. Inchoate means “incomplete,” interestingly these are crimes that were begun, but not completed. Thus a person requires to take a substantial step to achieve a crime. Inchoate crimes include:
  • Solicitation
  • Conspiracy
  • Statutory Crimes: A violation of a specific state or federal statute and can involve either property offenses or personal offense-specific crimes related to:
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Traffic
  • Other societal issues
  • Financial Crime: These crimes are also considered as “white-collar” crimes. They include
  • Blackmail
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Tax evasion
  • Other deceptive crimes that result in financial gain

Crimes get categorized according to State laws; they may further be divided into categories and subcategories.

Personal Crimes can be divided into the categories of “Violent Crimes” and “Non-Violent Crimes.” There are some states that regard sexual crimes in a particular category. These types are also developed for the purpose of sentencing.

Moreover, crimes can be divided according to criminal intent. General Intent Crimes and Specific Intent Crimes and they fall under major intent categories.

These labels mean that a suspect must have to be found guilty of a crime.

Choosing A Lawyer

In reality, the Law Society has a set of rules that all lawyers must follow, to ensure prompt, professional, and qualified service.

Take a look at the four essential tips that will help you make the choice that is right for you.

  • Find a lawyer who is always available to meet with you.
  • Choose a lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to handle your case.
  • Your lawyer must be adept at explaining the complex legal issues to you
  • And you want a lawyer who will charge a fair and reasonable rate, and remain transparent and accountable in every possible way.

Final words

If you have been charged with a crime, or suspect that you are under investigation and about to be accused of one, the first step that you should take is to contact a criminal defense lawyer. Needless to say, a well-versed attorney would assist you in each step of the ensuing legal process. Choosing an attorney to represent and advise you is one of the most significant yet challenging decisions you can ever make. So, you must take your time and do your research.