What are the 5 Types of Criminal Offenses in Arizona?

criminal offense in arizona - statue of lady justice holding scales and a sword

What are the 5 Types of Criminal Offenses in Arizona?

As a certified criminal law specialist in Arizona, Todd Coolidge has handled criminal cases of every category and degree. Criminal offenses in Arizona can be broken down into 5 broad categories: (1) personal or violent crime; (2) property crime; (3) white-collar crime; (4) public order or victimless crime; and (5) organized crime. Before we break these down, first we’ll define what a criminal offense is.

What is Considered a Criminal Offense in Arizona?

In the United States legal system, there are two categories of the law that we’ve discussed in a previous set of posts: civil law and criminal law. To define them briefly here, civil law is a body of law that provides redress for wrongs done on a private or civil rights level. And criminal law is a system of law that defines what is classified as a crime and how punishment should be exercised. A criminal offense, in this case, is any act or omission of an act in violation of a law that either forbids or commands it.

Defining the 5 Types of Crime


Personal/Violent Crime

Personal or violent crime refers to the commission of an act or threatening of an act that results in physical or mental harm being done to another person. The degree of a violent crime depends on factors such as the use of a weapon, the extent of harm done to the victim, the intention of the perpetrator, and the criminal background of the perpetrator.

Examples of personal or violent crimes in Arizona include:

Property Crime

Property crimes refer to the theft or destruction of someone else’s property where there is no use or threat of force against the victims. In some cases, such as burglary, unlawful entry with the intent to commit a crime is all that’s required in order to charge a perpetrator with a property crime.

Examples of property crimes in Arizona include:

  • Shoplifting
  • Petty theft
  • Burglary
  • Breaking and entering
  • Arson
  • Larceny
  • Auto theft

White-Collar Crime

White-collar crime refers to financially motivated, non-violent crimes that are perpetrated by a person of respectable or high social status. Most often, white-collar crimes are committed by a high ranking employee against a business.

Examples of white-collar crime in Arizona include:

  • Wage theft
  • Fraud
  • Bribery
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Insider trading
  • Embezzlement
  • Cybercrime
  • Money laundering
  • Identity theft
  • Copyright infringement

Public Order Crime

A public order crime is an act or behavior that is engaged in willingly in which there is no victim, but the actions of the perpetrator still violate criminal law.

Examples of public order crimes in Arizona include:

  • Illegal drug use
  • Illegal gambling
  • Prostitution
  • Pornography

Organized Crime

Organized crime refers to a group or groups of individuals who have organized themselves within an identified hierarchy for the purposes of engaging in criminal activities. According to the FBI, these enterprises often engage in multiple criminal activities and have extensive supporting networks.

Examples of organized crimes in Arizona include:

  • Bribery
  • Counterfeiting
  • Extortion
  • Organized prostitution
  • Human trafficking
  • Drug trafficking
  • Murder for hire
  • Alien smuggling

Choose an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Arizona

We know that being charged with any criminal offense in Arizona can be worrisome and potentially detrimental to your personal life and household. That’s why it’s important to choose a lawyer who is the right fit for you and your case. If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, schedule your consultation with Todd Coolidge today, and let us give your case the best possible outcome.