What are the types of criminal law & criminal offences?

Criminal law is the body of laws that apply to criminal acts. If an individual fails to adhere to a particular criminal statute, he or she breaks the law and commits a criminal act. This body of laws is different from civil law because criminal law has more severe penalties like lifetime imprisonment and death sentence. Conversely, civil laws relate to the resolution of legal controversies and involve more money damage. It is believed that criminal laws are created to deter crime and to reform the perpetrator. Also, to prevent further crimes by inflicting the idea of severe punishment in the minds of people.

There are two types of criminal laws


It is a criminal offence which is considered as a lower-level criminal offence. It includes crimes such as assaults, traffic offences, or store thefts. In such criminal cases, the penalty can be a maximum of a year or two in prison.


Felonies are the crimes which are more serious offences. It involves crimes which are threatening to the lives of citizens. These crimes include murder, manslaughter, drug dealing, rape, robbery, etc. Depending upon the nature of such felonies, the court decides the penalities starting from one-year imprisonment to death sentences.

There are several types of criminal offences which affect society in a severe manner. The crimes can be distributed into four categories, which are personal crimes, property crimes, inchoate crime, and statutory crime.

Personal Crime

Personal crime is usually committed due to arguments between two people. Personal crimes are the most common crimes that happened around the world due to hatred for each other. These crimes include assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, homicide, and rape. Such crimes are done with the intention of hurting the other person physically and mentally.

Property Crime

Property crimes are the offences against public or private property. These crimes do not cause harm to another person. Instead, the harm is done to the property of a person. These crimes include Larceny, robbery, burglary, forgery, false pretences, arson, scams, etc. These crimes do not affect the body of any person, but creates huge damage to their financial life.

Inchoate Crimes

Inchoate crimes are the crimes which were begun but not completed. These incomplete crimes involve a person taking a substantial step to complete a crime, as opposed to having an intent to commit a crime. This type is mostly found when the criminal is caught in the middle of a criminal act. These crimes include attempted robbery, attempted murder, and other attempted crimes, solicitation, and conspiracy.

Statutory Crimes

These crimes are done by getting into illegal activities such as dealing with illegal drugs and selling alcohol to a minor. It includes any kind of property offence or personal offence.