Criminal & Criminal Behavior

Table of Contents


The objective of this article is to furnish readers with a comprehensive understanding of offenders, their behaviours, and their impact on the community. In order to proceed, it is necessary to establish a clear definition of criminal behaviour prior to delineating the diverse manifestations it may exhibit. In the following discourse, we shall delve into the underlying causes of deviant behaviour, encompassing biological, psychological, and social dimensions. The analysis will encompass an examination of the impact of criminal activity on individuals, families, and communities. The subsequent discourse will address the multifarious measures employed by law enforcement agencies and political figures to prevent and curtail unlawful conduct.


A person who has been found guilty of a crime in a court of law is a criminal. When someone commits an offence against the law, they deserve to face the consequences. The definition of crime and the penalties associated with it might change depending on the country and its legal system.

It’s vital to remember that not everyone accused of a crime is really guilty, and that not everyone who is guilty actually goes to jail. A defendant has the presumption of innocence unless guilt is shown beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution in a court of law. It is never acceptable to resort to violence unless there is an immediate and imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to yourself or another person. Just because someone has wronged you in the past does not give you licence to continue that pattern of behaviour. You’ll be labelled a criminal if you comply.

The phrase that “no one is born a criminal” is true, yet it may nonetheless lead some people to engage in behaviour that would be illegal in more civilised communities.

Definition of “Criminals”

Depending on the setting and jurisdiction, a criminal is defined differently. A criminal is often thought of as someone who has broken the law, which is defined as an act that is sanctioned by the state.

Between nations and legal systems, the definition of a crime and the associated penalty might vary greatly. Most of the time, committing a crime is seen as a severe offence that hurts society, and the penalty may include jail time, fines, probation, or community service.

A trial of the accused is a time-consuming and complicated process. Because of natural justice and the need to ensure that no one who is innocent is imprisoned without a valid reason, the law always operates on the presumption that the accused person is innocent. As a result, the law retains its essence and remains just and fair.

What is Criminal Behavior?

Criminal behaviour refers to actions or conduct that are considered unlawful according to the legal and regulatory framework of a given society. The scope of criminal activities encompasses a broad spectrum, ranging from relatively minor transgressions such as traffic infractions to more severe offences such as homicide and theft. Criminal conduct may encompass diverse incentives, such as monetary profit, individual satisfaction, and even political or ideological convictions.

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Description of Who Are Criminals?

A. Types of criminals

Criminals come in a wide variety of forms, and how they are classified might change depending on the area and judicial system. But some typical categories of offenders include:

Violent Offenders: Violent offenders are those who carry out violent offences including homicide, assault, and robbery.

Property Criminals: Criminals who target property include those who steal, break into homes, and vandalise property.

White-Collar Criminals: White-collar criminals are those who engage in offences including insider trading, fraud, and embezzlement in a professional or commercial context.

Drug Offenders: Drug offenders are those who commit crimes involving drugs, such as trafficking, distributing, and possessing.

Juvenile Offender: Criminals under the age of 18 are classified as juvenile offenders.

Organized Criminal: Individuals who participate in organised crime activities including racketeering, money laundering, and extortion are known as organised criminals.

Cyber-Criminals: Cyber-criminals are those who carry out offences including hacking, identity theft, and phishing on computer networks or the internet.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that these classifications are not necessarily mutually exclusive and that some offenders may fit into more than one category. Additionally, there may be other categories or subcategories of criminals that are unique to a given legal system or culture, and the categorization of criminals might differ throughout jurisdictions. 

B. Causes of Criminal Behavior

Criminal conduct may be influenced by a complex combination of biological, psychological, social, and environmental variables. Following are a few typical catalysts for criminal behaviour:

Biological Factors: Genetics, head trauma, hormone imbalances, drug misuse, and other biological variables may all influence criminal conduct.

Psychological Factors: Criminal conduct may also be influenced by psychological issues such personality disorders, mental illnesses, and cognitive impairments. When attempting to understand the underlying reasons of criminal activity, it is crucial to take both biological and psychological variables into account.

Social Factors: Social variables that might encourage criminal behaviour include poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, prejudice, and peer pressure.

Environmental Factors: Environmental variables may make criminal behaviours more likely, such as exposure to violence, crime, and drug usage. To stop crime and advance a safer society, it is critical to address these issues. This may be accomplished by implementing laws and initiatives that prioritise community support, educational possibilities, career prospects, and anti-discrimination measures.

Family Background: Family histories, such as experiencing dysfunctional or abusive behaviour as a child, having a criminal past in the family, or missing parental support and direction.

Cultural influences: Cultural influences include cultural norms and ideas that favour criminal activity or cultural ideals that place a higher importance on monetary achievement and self-gain than morality.

It is important to keep in mind that not everyone who encounters these situations will become a criminal, even if they may affect criminal activity. Although there are many other factors, such as personal agency and outside circumstances, that might influence this choice, criminal activity is ultimately a choice that an individual makes.

Impact of Criminal Behavior

Criminal activity may have a variety of detrimental effects on people, families, communities, and society at large. The following are some effects of criminal behaviour:

Personal injury – Crime victims may suffer bodily injuries, mental anguish, or financial losses as a result of criminal behaviour.

Dread and insecurity – Criminal activity may foster a feeling of dread and insecurity in a community, especially if violent crimes are frequent or the crime rate is high.

Economic impact – Crime may have a detrimental effect on the economy, especially if it lowers property prices, raises insurance premiums, and slows down economic activity.

Social stigma – Criminal behaviour may result in prejudice and social stigma, especially for people who have already been found guilty of a crime.

Legal repercussions – Crimes may have legal repercussions, including jail time, fines, community service, or probation.

Interpersonal relations – Criminal behaviour, especially when it includes stealing or violation of trust, may harm interpersonal interactions.

Public safety – Criminal activity may put the public at risk, necessitating more stringent security and law enforcement measures.

Criminal behaviour generally has a detrimental effect on both people and society as a whole, thus it is important to address its underlying causes and provide assistance to those affected personally and in their communities.  


Biological, psychological, social, and environmental elements are all possible contributors to criminal behaviour. The terms “violent criminal,” “property criminal,” “white-collar criminal,” “drug offender,” “juvenile offender,” “organised criminal,” and “cyber criminal” all refer to different categories of criminals. Individuals, their loved ones, their neighbourhoods, and even whole communities may feel the reverberations of criminal activity. Personal hurt, worry, and insecurity, financial impact, social shame, legal implications, damaged interpersonal relationships, and dangers to public safety are all examples of these effects. To lessen these effects and foster a safer and more fair society, it is crucial to tackle the underlying causes of criminal behaviour and provide assistance to those who are directly harmed.


  • Tappan, Paul W. “Who is the Criminal? American Sociological Review 12 No. 1, 1947.
  • “Crime and Criminal Behavior.” Sage Publications Inc, 8 Apr. 2023,
  • Sinha, Sudhinta. “Personality Correlates of Criminals: A Comparative Study Between Normal Controls and Criminals.” PubMed Central (PMC), Accessed 23 Apr. 2023.
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