Law Essay - Crime And Definition

Individuals who commit crimes are usually motivated by different factors. Visalia Police Department Detective gives an insight opinion on what motivates different types of criminals based upon his personal experience with them. He stated "people who commit theft are generally motivated by the need to feed their substance abuse issues. People who commit sexual assault-type crimes are motivated by power and not the sexual desire. While people who commit gang-related crimes often do it due to the desire to be accepted or the fear posed by either rival gangs or members within their own" (Somavia). I have found that there isn't a straightforward answer to give. However, within my research I've discovered that they contain a single similarity which is a want; or as they may see it as a "need", that is substituted by the crime. It is usually not the want to commit the crime, rather an alternative way to release the feeling of constantly wanting whatever it may be for that person. Although, it can vary dramatically depending on the person and type of crime they're committing.
Crime in one simple explanation is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. However, this is very broad so I've split it into three categories to better analyze it. The three groups of crime being, Violations, Misdemeanors, and Felonies. The causes of crime are extremely complex and in some cases can have absolutely no motivation besides the want to commit it. However, in most cases the criminals can be driven by past experiences, a recent event causing an unravel, or current issues occurring. In other words, crime is almost always used as a coping mechanism. The individuals committing these actions don't want to feel the pain or suffering that's occurring. The crime brings them adrenaline, it distracts them, thus allowing them to numb the pain of whatever may be causing them stress. In an article from the BBC, it states, "Poverty, parental neglect, low self-esteem, alcohol, and drug abuse can be connected to why people break the law." Though,other driving forces could be sex, money, adiction, greed, and thrill. Individuals who are brought into poor conditions when born, are more likely to be involved in criminal activity. Although this is a factor that is completely out of the individuals control, ones living conditions usually aren't the ultimate driving force to commit crimes. Often there is something that triggers deep emotions added onto their child life to motivate the criminal activities. However, in certain instances,conditions could be so severe that crime starts from an extremely young age making it almost impossible to turn the lifestyle around. These are the most common motivators for criminals, there are plenty of others present in today's society, especially when dealing with crimes falling under the three different categories.
The most simple element of crime and the least punishable is a Violation. Described by the dictionary this is a violation of the law and is any act that fails to abide by existing laws. In other words, they are civil wrongs that the individual acts upon. For example, Fraud is a Violation. Fraud is a broad legal term referring to dishonest acts that intentionally use deception "to illegally deprive another person or entity of money, property, or legal rights," according to an article from Thought Co. This is different from most criminal actions due to the fact that it has absolutely nothing to do with physically taking something through forceful actions, it's wholly based upon manipulation. It is simply giving incorrect or misleading "facts" to exploit the customer. To be more specific, an example of fraud would be lying about past criminal records when applying for a job. These sorts of acts are usually committed due to the want for power, money, personal reasons, or in this specific case the want for a certain reputation. Following the pattern of many criminals, this one wanted to be perceived on the same level as any other person applying for the job. Although it may be thought to be harmless, an individual could be applying to work with young children and maybe a registered sex offender. This may seem like a very extreme example but it's incredibly common. Due to the desire to be seen as equal to his competitors, this can be identified as his motivation to commit the crime. When narrowed down, every criminal simply wants something from the world that he or she is not receiving. The majority of criminals don't know how to cope with this issue. They can't fathom the fact that they're not acquiring all of their wants. Thus justifying their motivation is simply for their benefits or status in society.
The second most punishable crime within the three different levels are Misdemeanors. According to FindLaw, a Misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is less serious than a felony and more serious than an infraction,also referred to as a violation. An example of this would be Bootlegging Alcohol. In the book, The Great Gatsby, the main character bootlegs alcohol for a living. Jay Gatsby, the main character for example, bootlegged alcohol to become rich. Although he had obtained "new money", he wasn't from "old money" and yet still attempted to resemble the individuals of old money. He aspired to be wealthy to of course fit in, but exceeding everything, to get Daisy to recognize him. His ultimate goal was for her to choose him. Although it may be thought that he longed to be wealthy and conform to society's expectations, his true motivation was for human connections. He craved the relationships with the people surrounding him. However, he was too busy putting up a front to actually go out and learn what it took to have a real relationship, until it was too late. Therefore implying that due to Gatsby's long for connection, he associated himself with crime in an effort to ultimately raise his social appearance to satisfy his desires.
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