The Definition of Crime

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The Definition of Crime

The classical definition of crime is any act or omission prohibited by law that is enacted for the protection of the public and the violation of which is prosecuted by the state in judicial proceedings in its own name.[1]

A crime is also defined as an illegal act, omission or event, with consequences that the offender, if detected and the decision is made to prosecute him, is prosecuted by or in the name of the state and if found guilty is liable to be punished.

The business dictionary defines crime as a Harmful act or omission against the public which the State wishes to prevent. Upon conviction, is punishable by fine, imprisonment, and/or death. No conduct constitutes a crime unless it is declared criminal in the laws of the country. Some crimes (such as theft or criminal damage) may also be civil wrongs (torts) for which the victim(s) may claim damages in compensation.[2]

The definition of crime brings out the public law element of criminal law- crime is prohibited by the law emanating from the state,violation of the law leads to prosecution by the state, in proceedings in the state’s name and before a state organ.

[1]Musyoka William.