There are many ways that crimes can be classified. They can be grouped according to severity of punishment, called grading, or they can be grouped by subject matter, such as “crime against property.”
Typically, criminal acts are divided into five subject matter groups:
- Crimes against property: Property damage or injuring a person by depriving them of their property.
- Statutory crimes: Laws that result from bills that are passed by the legislature reflect the voting and will of a specific jurisdiction, whether it is a city, county, state, or the whole country. This is why some states have different laws, or even why some cities have laws that are different from neighboring cities. Driving under the influence (DUI) is an example of a statutory crime.
- Financial crimes: These types of crimes involve corporate fraud, securities fraud, mortgage fraud, theft, scams, tax evasion and bribery
- Inchoate crimes: When someone takes preparatory steps towards committing a crime. Even if no harm has been done, an attempt can be considered an inchoate crime.
- Crimes against a person: These include crimes such as assault, battery, kidnapping, homicide and rape.
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