Definition of Criminal

Explore the definition of a criminal, from petty thieves to white-collar offenders. Learn how the justice system deals with criminals through case studies and statistics.

Understanding Criminality

When we hear the term ‘criminal,’ our minds often conjure up images of bad people committing heinous acts. But what does it truly mean to be a criminal? Let’s delve into the definition of criminality and explore its various aspects.

What Makes Someone a Criminal?

A criminal is someone who has been convicted of a crime by a court of law. This means that they have been found guilty of violating a law, whether it be a minor offense like shoplifting or a more serious crime like murder.

Types of Criminals

There are different types of criminals, ranging from petty thieves to hardened criminals. Some offenders may be driven by desperation or socio-economic factors, while others may commit crimes due to mental health issues or a lack of impulse control.

  • Petty Criminals: These individuals typically engage in minor offenses such as vandalism or petty theft.
  • White-Collar Criminals: These offenders commit non-violent crimes for financial gain, such as embezzlement or fraud.

Justice System and Criminals

The justice system plays a crucial role in dealing with criminals. Law enforcement agencies investigate crimes, prosecutors bring charges against suspects, and judges and juries determine guilt or innocence.

Case Studies

Let’s look at a few real-life case studies to better understand the complexities of criminal behavior:

Case Study 1: John Smith

John Smith was caught shoplifting from a local store. He had a history of substance abuse and was struggling to make ends meet. The court sentenced him to community service and mandated counseling for his addiction issues.

Case Study 2: Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson was a successful business executive who embezzled funds from her company. She was motivated by greed and a desire for a lavish lifestyle. She was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution to her victims.

Statistics on Criminality

According to the FBI, there were over 1.2 million violent crimes reported in the United States in 2020. This includes offenses such as murder, rape, and robbery. Property crimes, including burglary and theft, accounted for over 5.1 million incidents.


In conclusion, the definition of a criminal is someone who has broken the law and been found guilty of a crime. Criminal behavior can stem from a variety of factors, and the justice system plays a crucial role in addressing and punishing criminal acts. By understanding the complexities of criminality, we can work towards creating a safer and more just society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *