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Victimless crimes as a violation of the criminal law Essay Sample

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Victimless crimes as a violation of the criminal law Essay Sample

Victimless Crime, as the name suggests refer to a crime that is committed but there is no harm do to anyone in particular. It is called victimless because there is no victim that is affected by the actions which are considered illegal under the law (Bennett, Kären and Christine, 538). Therefore, Victimless crime can be defined as a violation of the criminal law whereby the actions that one undertakes are considered as illegal (Purpura, 70). However, there is no evidence that can show there is harm or damage caused to another person. It has been noted that under the victimless crime, there is no one that is considered as the direct victim of the particular crime although the actions are considered as a violation of the law.

There are behaviors in the society which are considered as wrong and affects the function of the society either socially, economical and politically but there is no direct impact that it has on other people (Brux, 49). The only impact that these actions have is on the person that is performing the acts whereby their health is at risk as well as reputation in the society. The actions which an individual displays are ruled as illegal if they have a negative impact on the society such as violation of decency in the public as well as disruption of public order that is supported by the law.

The actions which are considered as illegal and a violation of the rule of law but forms part of the victimless crimes include use of illegal drugs, sale and possessing illegal drugs, gambling as well as prostitution and pornography trafficking (Purpura, 70). Suicides, trespassing as well as traffic citations are also some of the actions which are considered as victimless crimes that can be committed by individuals. Victimless crimes are often committed by people out of their personal will unless under circumstances where one is forced by other people to commit these crimes (Brux, 49). Under all the mentioned crimes above, there is no direct harm that is caused on neither another person nor the violation of the rights of other people hence the victims of the crimes are said not to be there.

The principle applied under victimless crimes is offence principle (Bennett, Kären and Christine, 538). Under the offense principle it is observed that an action that is considered an offense may not necessarily cause any harm to another person hence making the offense a victimless crime, unlike under the harm principle where there is direct harm (Purpura, 70). For example, an individual may decide to take illegal drugs while in the confines of their apartment. The overall activity of taking or using illegal drugs, under the rule of law, is illegal. However there is no injury, harm or damage that is caused directly to another person, hence there is lack of victim to the illegal act (Bennett, Kären and Christine, 538).

Therefore, under victimless crime, the offender will often be arrested and charged for the violation of the law that prohibits the illegal act but not for causing direct harm to a victim since there is no victim (Brux, 49). It is also to be noted that these kinds of crimes are often difficult to detect since there are no complaints except for the law enforcement officers as they often take place in privacy where the third parties have no access.


Bennett, Wayne W, Kären M. Hess, and Christine H. Orthmann.Criminal Investigation.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2007. Print. P.538

Brux, Jacqueline M. Economic Issues and Policy. Mason, OH: South-Western CengageLearning, 2011. Print. P.49

Purpura, Philip P. Criminal Justice: An Introduction. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1996. Print. P.70

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