: English for Law Students. 2 year. Part 2 - ( ..)


: 1569

Unit 2 classification of crimes


1. Read these statements and discuss them in pairs to see whether you agree or not. Prove your point of view.

All crime is a kind of disease and should be treated as such.

Mahatma Gandhi

It's a crime if you get caught.

Russian proverb


B1. Study the new words and expressions and memorize them.



tax evasion

perjury counterfeiting sedition fall short ,

rebellion , ,

mayhem premeditated manslaughter kidnapping


larceny , embezzlement ,

forgery , , hijacking robbery



trespass ,


malice decency ,

bigamy , obscenity harassment ,

vagrancy felony confinement shoplifting misdemeanor

B2. Read the text and discuss the questions below.


Crimes may be classified in various ways.

1. Classification as to the breached interest:

a) Crimes against public interest: treason, tax evasion, bribery and corruption, perjury, counterfeiting, etc. Treason is the crime of betraying a nation by acts considered dangerous to its security. Selling military secrets to a foreign power is one example; giving aid to the enemy in time of war is another. Sedition refers generally to the offense of organizing or encouraging opposition to the government, especially in speeches or writings, that falls short of treason. In wartime seditious acts may often be classified as treason. Rebellion is the attempted overthrow of a government; if it succeeds it is a coup, or revolution.

b) Crimes against private interest which are divided into crimes against persons and crimes against property. Crimes against persons include homicide, assault and battery, mayhem, rape, and kidnapping. Homicide is the general term for killing an individual. It may refer to a killing that is not criminal, such as killing in self-defense or to prevent the commission of a serious felony. Criminal homicide is classified according to the nature of the crime. Premeditated murder is the most serious offense. Manslaughter includes killings that are the result of recklessness or violent emotional outburst. Battery is the unlawful use of physical force on another person, and assault is the attempt to commit battery. No great force is necessary to constitute a battery: a mere touch is sufficient. Generally it is not a battery unless the act is done with intent to do harm. Assault, as intent to harm, must carry with it a threat of more or less immediate danger, some obvious act that threatens battery. Mayhem is similar to battery, but it is a more severe crime because it deprives the victim of a part of his body - hand, arm, eye rendering him less able to defend himself.

The crimes against property are theft and larceny, embezzlement, forgery, hijacking, receiving stolen property, robbery, burglary, arson, and trespass. Most of these crimes involve stealing in one form or another, but distinctions are made between them to indicate the seriousness of the offense. Theft is the general term covering larceny, robbery, and burglary. Larceny is the taking away of personal goods without the owner's consent. Robbery is a form of larceny involving violence or the threat of violence against the victim. Burglary is defined as the breaking and entering of a building with the intent to commit a theft or some other felony. The common street crime called mugging combines robbery with assault and battery. Embezzlement is the illegal taking for one's own use of goods usually money by someone to whom the goods have been entrusted. Bank employees, for example, have been found guilty of embezzling the bank's funds. Arson is the unlawful and voluntary burning of property. If the fire causes death, the arsonist is considered guilty of murder even if there was no intent to kill. Trespass is the

unauthorized entry upon land. Neither knowledge of what one is doing nor malice is necessary for a trespass to be committed.

2. As to the nature of the wrong, crimes are calssified into:

a) Crimes against public peace and order (drunk and disorderly conduct, illegal speeding, rioting, carrying weapons, etc)

b) Crimes against public decency and morality (bigamy, prostitution, obscenity, sexual harassment, vagrancy, neglect to bury the dead, etc)

3. Classification of crimes as to gravity:

a) Felonies, which are crimes of a serious.Among the felonies recognized

under common law were homicide, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, and larceny. In the modern period the number of felonies has been significantly enlarged by legislation to include such offenses as kidnapping, tax evasion, and drug dealing.

b) Misdemeanors constitute a minor class of offenses that are punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to one year. Crimes such as drunkenness in public, shoplifting, driving a car at an illegal speed, theft of small sums of money, etc. are usually misdemeanors.

c) Infractions, or contraventions which are punishable by a small fine, such as parking overtime on metered parking, littering, etc.

4. Classification as to criminal result:

a) Crimes of damage where the offence is described as the causation of the

harmful result (e.g. homicide, injury, theft)

b) Crimes of danger where punishment is imposed merely for creating danger, even though the harmful result does not occur (e.g. attempted crimes)

5. Classification as to the structure of a crime:

a) Simple crimes which consist of a single act.

b) Compound crimes where a single act constitutes 2 or more felonies

c) Continuous crimes where the crimes takes place through a continuous and

uninterrupted length of time (e.g. possession of unlicensed weapons and receiving stolen property).

Crimes can also be classified into other categories, such as economic crimes,

syndicated crimes, political crimes, computer crimes, etc.


C1. Discuss the following:

1. What kinds of crime are most common in your country?

2. What crimes have you heard about recently in the news?

3. What crimes do you think will decrease in the future?

4. What crimes do you think will increase in the future?

5. What do you think is the worst crime a person could commit? Why?

6. What kinds of crimes do you think can be prevented? How?

7. What is the punishment for stealing in your country?

8. What is the punishment for murder in your country?

D. VOCABULARY D1. Name the crime:

1) killing someone illegally and intentionally MURDER

2) killing someone unintentionally M...

3) killing a public figure for political reasons A

4) the crime of being disloyal to your country or its government, especially by helping its enemies T

5) using illegally or stealing money from the place you work E

6) the crime of deliberately making something burn, especially a building A

7) the crime of getting into a building to steal things B

8) the crime of stealing money or things from a bank, shop etc, especially using violence R

9) the crime of being married to two people at the same time B

10) the crime of telling a lie after promising to tell the truth in a court of law


11) the crime of going onto someone's private land without their permission


12) the use of violence or threats to take control of a plane H

13) the crime of hitting someone B

14) the crime of copying official documents, money, etc F

15) an attack on someone in which they are robbed in a public place M

16) the criminal offence of living on the street and begging from people V

D2. Say what crime took place in each situation.

a) The man, armed with a knife and a hand grenade, forced the pilot of

Boeing 737 to fly to Madrid.

b) Two youths came up behind 73-year-old Arthur Potter, knocked him to the ground and ran off with his wallet and watch.

c) Police belive the fire which destroyed the factory last night was started deliberately.

d) Somebody broke into our house when we were away on holiday and took our TV and audio.

e) A woman was caught leaving a shop with four bottles of perfume in her bag.

f) The head of the accounts department had been transferring money to his own account systematically for several years.

g) Narcotics smuggler offered the judge a sum of money for lessening criminal penalties.

h) The young boy was snatched on his way to school. Three hours later his family received a ransom demand for $1000,000.

D3. COLLOCATIONS. Complete the sentences using the words in brackets.

1. The Judge, Mr Newell, said that Hickey was a hardened (a)_


had committed 12 serious (b)

. He ordered that Hickey should serve

a (c)

of at least 15 years in prison. (sentence, criminal, offence)

2. In the (a)

against crime we will not just (b)

serious crime,

but all crime, including (c)

crime amd (d)

crime, so that the

city will be safer for everyone. (street, target, fight, vehicle)

3. If someone (a)

into your house, (b)

your car, or (c)

you in the street, then you feel society has let you down. Thats why we

are determined to (d)

crime. (tackle, steal, break, rob)

4. The crime (a)

are the worst since 1995. Weve had a spate of


in this part of the city, vehicle (c)_

, drug (d)_

, and so

on, and police have reported an (e) vandalism. It is time the party in (f) increase, power, burglary, theft, figure)

in number of acts of mindless did something. (abuse,

5. We are doing everything in our power to (a)_

crime. The crime rate

has (b)

down, and that is because we have (c)

10,000 police

officers on the streets and (d)

where the problem (e)

on juvenile crime, because that is

(put, come, begin, combat, focuse)

D4. Fill empty slots in the table with the terms from the list to match their Russian language equivalents.

professional killing self-defence killingaccidental killing brutal killing hired killing mercy killing negligent killing political killing intended killing justified killing lawful killing mass killingcontract killing deliberate killing gang killingprovoked killinggangster killing


2. ,

3. ,






9. ,


11. ;



14. ;

15. , -

16. , ( )


D5. WORD FORMATION. Use the words in brackets to form a word that fits in the space.

Private wrongs

The legal term for a 1 (privacy) wrong is tort. A tort is a type of civil,

or private, wrong 2_

(definition) as harm to a person through the

3 (law) or dangerous 4 (active) of others. Whereas the purpose of criminal law is to protect the interests of the public as a whole by punishing the 5_ (offence), the purpose of the law of torts is to protect the interests of individuals by granting 6 (pay) for damages they may have suffered.

If, for example, someone eats spoiled food in a restaurant and becomes ill, he

may sue the restaurant 7

(own) for payment to cover 8

(medicine) expenses. He may also sue for 9 (punish), or additional,

damages. Such matters as traffic 10

(accidential), slander, libel,

personal injury, medical malpractice, and trespass are dealt with by tort law. There are some instances when the same wrong can be both a crime, or public wrong, and a tort, or private wrong. A 11 (theft) who steals a piece of jewelry commits the crime of larceny and the tort of conversion.

Conversion can be defined as the 12_

(authorize) possession of

personal property without the owner's consent. If an act is both a crime and a tort, it can be dealt with by 13 (prosecute) in both criminal and civil courts.


E1. In pairs find the synonyms to the entries taken from the text (in the box). Write two/three sentences using them.

The legal term for a private wrong is tort. A tort is a type of civil, or private, wrong defined as harm to a person through the unlawful or dangerous activity of others. Whereas the purpose of criminal law is to protect the interests of the public as a whole by punishing the offender, the purpose of

the law of torts is to protect the interests of individuals by granting payment for damages they may have suffered.

harm (noun) Synonyms:

damage, hurt, mischief, outrage, ruin, misfortune, misuse; impairment, marring

suffering (noun) Synonyms:

distress, agony, dolor, misery, passion

wrong (noun) Synonyms:

grievance, injury, debt, sin, wickedness, crime, diablerie, iniquity, sin, tort, wrongdoing, inequity, unfairness, unjustness

F. Project work.

F1. Fill in the table following the pattern. Check with the dictionary if necessary. Learn the new words by heart.




0. treason

00. murder





to betray

to murder

1. abduction

2. arson

3. assassination

4. assault

5. bigamy

6. blackmail

7. bribery

8. burglary

9. conspiracy

10. desertion

11. drug dealing

12. embezzlement

13. espionage

14. extortion

15. forgery

16. fraud

17. gangsterism

18. hijacking

19. hooliganism

20. kidnapping

21. libel

22. manslaughter

23. mugging

24. perjury

25. pickpocketing

26. piracy

27. robbery

28. shop-lifting

29. slander

30. smuggling

31. stowaway

32. terrorism

33. theft

34. trespass

35. vandalism


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