Crime Categories

Categories of Crime
Carman Moon
CRJ 201: Introduction to Criminal Justice
Professor Barnard
June 4, 2012

    There are five categories of crime.   Those five categories are felony, misdemeanor, an offense, inchoate offense, and treason/espionage.   This paper will provide depth into the meanings of each category and provide ways to discrete between each category.
    We will begin with the lightest category and move to the harshest category.   The first category is an inchoate offense.   These are crimes that have not been carried out.   An inchoate offense requires that the defendant have the specific intent to commit the underlying crime. For example, for a defendant to be guilty of the inchoate crime of solicitation of murder, she must specifically intend to cause the death of a particular human being. It would not be enough for Defendant to ask another to kill the victim when she simply intended to scare the victim. (Note that specific intent can be inferred, and many people would infer the specific intent to kill the victim simply by Defendant asking another to do it).   According to the text, any action undertaken in furtherance of the conspiracy is generally regarded as a sufficient basis for arrest and prosecution(Schmalleger 122).
    The second category is offenses.   An offense is a crime less serious than a felony or a misdemeanor.   Actually all violations of the criminal law can be called criminal offenses, the term offense is sometimes used to refer specifically to minor violations of the law that are less serious than misdemeanors (Schmalleger 121).   According to a dictionary an offense is a violation or breaking of a social or moral rule; transgression.   Such offenses would be jaywalking, littering, and certain traffic violations including failure to wear a seat belt.   Infraction can be used as a co-term meaning less serious.   Individuals receiving either of these termed violations are usually ticketed, and released with a court...