Primary tabs

Criminal is a popular term used for a person who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime. 

Criminal also means being connected with a crime. When certain acts or people are involved in or related to a crime, they are termed as criminal. For example: “criminal conspiracy,” “criminal taking,” a “criminal gang.”

Some common uses of the term criminal in a legal sense include:

  • Criminal law” is a system of law dealing with law cases involving a crime.
  • “Criminal case” involves the government attempting on behalf of its citizens to punish a person for violating its criminal law. 
  • Criminal procedure” is the term used for the rules used by a court as it conducts a criminal case from its inception through a trial. 

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]