Cruelty to animals is against the law everywhere in this country, but it wasn't always so. If you were to pick up a famous old treatise called Chitty's Criminal Law, blow the dust from its leather-bound pages, and look inside, you would search in vain for a crime of "cruelty to animals." It didn't exist
The crime of robbery occurs when the offender uses violence or threats of physical harm to take property from the victim. Read on to learn more about how robbery is defined and get real-world examples of robbery cases and an applicable criminal statute on robbery.
“Theft” (or “larceny”) and “robbery” are common terms that refer to taking money or personal property without permission, but they don’t mean the same thing. Learn the differences and some possible punishments for each crime.
The crimes of assault, assault and battery, and aggravated assault are all related to intentional harm inflicted on one person by another. Any crime involving a physical attack (or even the threat of an attack) is usually classified as an assault, a battery, or both. And, depending on the seriousness of the attack (or the dangerousness of the weapon used), these acts can rise to the level of aggravated assault or mayhem. And it isn't just one-sided attacks that can constitute assault. Fighting can lead to an assault charge, even when two people can be said to have mutually agreed to fight. Read on to learn what defines assault and battery, aggravated assault, and related crimes. (To learn about assault and battery as intentional torts that can form the basis of a civil court lawsuit, check out Nolo's article Assault and Battery as Personal Injury Claims.)
Arson crimes involve setting fire to property -- usually residential property or a commercial structure. Read on to learn more about the crime of arson, unique issues that arise in arson cases, and what a typical criminal statute on arson looks like. (For detailed information about other crimes, check out Nolo's Crimes In-Depth section.)
The crime of burglary involves the unlawful entry into a building, coupled with the intent to commit a certain crime -- like theft or larceny, or any crime that's classified as a felony. The criminal statutes on the books in each state provide their own specific definition of what constitutes burglary.
Disorderly conduct (also called "disturbing the peace" in some states) is a crime that usually involves some kind of offensive or disruptive public activity. Criminal statutes in some states include public intoxication as one kind of behavior that can be considered disorderly conduct. In other states, public intoxication is a separate criminal offense, while the laws in other jurisdictions might include a crime called "drunk and disorderly" conduct. This article highlights disorderly conduct and public intoxication laws.
Domestic violence crimes are characterized by physical abuse and threats between two people who are in a close familial or social relationship. This article defines domestic violence and looks at common issues in criminal cases involving domestic violence. It also provides some information on stopping abuse.
As legislators have made clear, alcohol and motor vehicles aren’t a good mix. But state governments don’t confine their laws to drunk driving. They also prohibit other kinds of behavior involving cars and booze, like having an open alcohol container or drinking from it in a vehicle. Open Container
Rape is nonconsensual sexual intercourse; it’s often committed through force, threats, or fear. One variation of rape, called statutory rape, makes it unlawful to have sex with a minor under the “age of consent,” which is usually between 16 and 18, even if the minor consents to the sex. For detailed
Fraud crimes involve theft through misrepresentation and other deceptive tactics -- put more simply, a fraud scammer tricks a victim out of money through the lies and false promises. This article defines the crime of fraud and looks at common fraud scenarios like Ponzi schemes and the "pigeon drop."