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Crime refers to any unlawful act committed by an individual which may attract intervention of relevant authorities. Crime varies depending on legal interpretation given and ultimate effects on society at large. The modern world has elaborate means of curbing and handling the rising high-tech crimes. There is a general feeling that criminals are getting wittier than ever before. To substantially deal with crime, it is prudent to classify them according to the nature of felony committed. Therefore this paper seeks to differentiate various categories of crimes and related examples. Generally, every crime must fall into either of the following categories: property crimes, public morality crimes, crimes against persons, white-collar crimes and Cyber crimes (John, Burgess and Ressler 2006).
White-collar crimes were first identified by Edwin Sutherland in the year 1941. White collar is the best term because most offenders of this type of crime are executives wearing white shirts and ties. It encompasses for example activities like propagation of lies or misleading promotions, workers exploitation, information technology related crimes and price fixation among many others. White collar crimes are instigated majorly by selfish desires aimed at personal gains at the expense of others. Most offenders of such crimes are better placed in terms of their jobs and public influence. In other words, they abuse the privileges coming alongside responsibilities. Although the nature of white collar crimes is non-violent, it is a serious offence calling for stern legal actions and subsequent punishment. Fraud is the term constantly used to depict the same meaning as white collar crimes. It involves delivery of false information with an aim of gaining from a person, business or government without use of violence. In majority cases, white collar crime offenders are sentenced to lower security prisons in stead of maximum security. Depending on the magnitude of crime, it can be prosecuted by either federal or state government. White collar crimes of wider scope are best dealt with by federal justice system.
Another category of crimes is personal/violent crimes. It cuts across all sorts of violations of individual rights including physical attack like assault, murder and forcible rape. Moreover, crimes against persons are not only limited to physical assault; it also encompasses such acts amounting to intimidations. This includes putting another person in a serious state of fear by use of threatening words without necessarily using a weapon to attack. According to Uniform Crime Reporting, forcible rape is the actual act and attempts of committing rape but excludes other rapes which do not involve the use of force. Personal crimes also include using force or threats of violence in taking away of another person's property summarized as robbery. Persons involved in this kind of crime are prosecuted and sentenced to varying levels depending on extend at which aggrieved party rights were infringed. The level of infringement is determined by sole discretion of court procedure (Clarkson 2005).
Property crimes on the other hand include all illegal acts against movable possessions excluding real property. Arson is a crime falling in this category. It entails damaging another person's property through burning or attempts to do so. Arson is committed when a person with or without intention of defrauding a building, aircraft, automobile or personal property decides to burn either of them. Illegal entry of property with an intention of committing theft or felony is referred to as burglary. It is one form of property crime which is committed without necessarily entering by force. Another good example of property crime is larceny (theft). It entails illegal taking of property from another person without using force or violence. Properties include movable items such as cars, electronics, and household goods among others. Defacing another person's or state property through malice or accident is another form of property crime. It may involve writings and graffiti which will not only hinder performance of the facility but also create nuisance and dissatisfaction of the owner. For a person to be said to have committed property crime he or she must have infringed in to rightful ownership and use of a property. It is an actionable offence resulting in punishment through imprisonment or imposition of fines depending on prosecution findings (Geary 2002).
Public morality crimes can be argued as dynamic and depends largely on the kind of setting in which the offender is in. It falls under illegal acts against decency and morality in public. It does not only entail such acts as commercial sex, drug abuse and gaming but also exposure of self nudity, pornography and general obscenity. There is a rising concern in this area of crimes against public decency due to the availability of obscene material through communication channels and most specifically internet. Although attempts have been made to curb rising tendencies of public morality decay, legislations regulating public morality have experience major obstacles. It is a section of crime experiencing fierce criticism from liberals arguing that the laws are too limiting and against the spirit of freedom and self expression. They argue that crisis of over criminalization is likely to occur resulting in unnecessary use of either state or federal resources in what may be perceived as 'the right thing'.
The coming of information technology has its own challenges. Cyber crimes have been listed as the major challenge facing the use of internet and other information technology communication channels. It is any criminal activity executed with the help of internet and computers. Cyber crimes fall into two categories. The first one is offence committed involving loss of money by the owner. It includes downloading of music or any other document intended for selling. Also hacking resulting in loss of money in bank account is another form of cyber crimes. Due to its versatility, internet crimes cut across a number of fields and thus it is a major area of concern to federal justice agencies (Ray 2008). Another form of cybercrime is the use of internet to steal or access personal information against the wishes of the subject person. This is normally done through pharming or phishing. Such crimes make internet users to believe that the sites in which personal information are required are genuine. After winning user's confidence such criminals are able to get personal information through login procedures which may include: bank account details, physical address, credit card features and passwords. With this personal information, it is easy for criminals to carry out bank transactions aimed at defrauding the user.
On the examples given; Donald P. committed cyber crimes defrauding the elderly using internet. Although the victims could have scrutinized Donald's profile before giving their personal information, it is the duty of the purported service provider to deliver what he promised. Rita N. on the other side can be charged for committing two offences. The first one will be charges against breaking public morality and decency laws. Displaying self nudity is unethical on top of being criminal offence. Secondly, she is liable for committing aggravated assault. Physical attack and use of a weapon (bottle) is enough evidence of her actionable violent attack. Finally, Anna R. is as well guilty of committing property crimes. She did not only damage boyfriend's motor car but she also defaced it with graffiti.