Offender

Primary tabs

Offender is a legal term used in the context of criminal law to refer to a person convicted of committing a crime or offense. An adult offender is a person convicted of committing a crime after reaching the legal age of majority. A young offender (usually called a juvenile delinquent) is a person convicted of committing a crime during late adolescence or early adulthood but before reaching the legal age of majority.

A first offender is a person convicted of committing a crime for the first time. Under the U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual, a career offender is an adult offender who commits a felony that is either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense after being convicted of two prior crimes of violence or controlled substance offenses.

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