What is Crime?

Legal Definition
In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term "crime" does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes. The most popular view is that crime is a category created by law; in other words, something is a crime if declared as such by the relevant and applicable law. One proposed definition is that a crime or offence (or criminal offence) is an act harmful not only to some individual or individuals but also to a community, society or the state ("a public wrong"). Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law.

The notion that acts such as murder, rape and theft are to be prohibited exists worldwide. What precisely is a criminal offence is defined by criminal law of each country. While many have a catalogue of crimes called the criminal code, in some common law countries no such comprehensive statute exists.

The state (government) has the power to severely restrict one's liberty for committing a crime. In modern societies, there are procedures to which investigations and trials must adhere. If found guilty, an offender may be sentenced to a form of reparation such as a community sentence, or, depending on the nature of their offence, to undergo imprisonment, life imprisonment or, in some jurisdictions, execution.

Usually, to be classified as a crime, the "act of doing something criminal" (actus reus) must – with certain exceptions – be accompanied by the "intention to do something criminal" (mens rea).

While every crime violates the law, not every violation of the law counts as a crime. Breaches of private law (torts and breaches of contract) are not automatically punished by the state, but can be enforced through civil procedure.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Behavior that the law makes punishable as a public offence. The elements of a crime typically come from statutes, but may also be supplied by the common law in states where the criminal common law still carries force.
Crime is behavior, either by act or omission, defined by statutory or common law as deserving of punishment. Although most crimes require the element of intent, certain minor crimes may be committed on the basis of strict liability even if the defendant had no specific mindset with regard to the criminal action. For instance, parking violations are crimes that usually do not require prosecutors to establish intent.

Some crimes are considered mala prohibita ("bad because prohibited"); these are prohibited by statute but are not inherently evil. Other crimes are considered mala in se ("bad in themselves"); these are considered inherently evil under general community standards. The idea of mala in se formed the original justification for common law crimes. However, many crimes that are today prohibited by statute also belong to the category of mala in se.

Crimes are prosecuted by government attorneys. Such attorneys may represent a city, county, state, or the federal government. Examples include the Attorney General of the United States, the attorney general of a state, federal district attorneys, and city attorneys.

Crimes are ranked as greater violations of public order (felony) or as lesser violations (misdemeanor), and are adjudicated according to rules of criminal procedure.
Legal Definition
A crime is an offence against a public law. This word, in its most general signification, comprehends all offences but, in its limited sense, it is confined to felony. 1 Chitty, Gen. Pr. 14.

2. The term misdemeanor includes every offence inferior to felony, but punishable by indictment or by-particular prescribed proceedings.

3. The term offence, also, may be considered as, having the same meaning, but is usually, by itself, understood to be a crime not indictable but punishable, summarily, or by the forfeiture of, a penalty. Burn's Just. Misdemeanor.

4. Crimes are defined and punished by statutes and by the common law. Most common law offences are as well known, and as precisely ascertained, as those which are defined by statutes; yet, from the difficulty of exactly defining and describing every act which ought to be punished, the vital and preserving principle has been adopted, that all immoral acts which tend to the prejudice of the community are punishable by courts of justice. 2 Swift's Dig.

5. Crimes are mala in se, or bad in themselves; and these include. all offences against the moral law; or they are mala prohibita, bad because prohibited, as being against sound policy; which, unless prohibited, would be innocent or indifferent. Crimes may be classed into such as affect:

6.- 1. Religion and public worship: viz. blasphemy, disturbing public worship.

7. - 2. The sovereign power: treason, misprision of treason.

8. - 3. The current coin: as counterfeiting or impairing it.

9. - 4. Public justice: 1. Bribery of judges or jurors, or receiving the bribe. 2. Perjury. 3. Prison breaking. 4. Rescue. 5. Barratry. 6. Maintenance. 7. Champerty. 8. Compounding felonies. 9. Misprision of felonies. 10. 6ppression. 11. Extortion. 12. Suppressing evidence. 13. Negligence or misconduct in inferior officers. 14. Obstructing legal process. 15. Embracery.

10. - 5. Public peace. 1. Challenges to fight a duel. 2. Riots, routs and unlawful assemblies. 3. Affrays. 4. Libels. 11. - 6. Public trade. 1. Cheats. 2. Forestalling. S. Regrating. 4. Engross- ing. 5. Monopolies.

12. - 7. Chastity. 1. Sodomy. 2. Adultery. 3. Incest. 4. Bigamy. 5. Fornication.

13. - 8. Decency and morality. 1. Public indecency. 2. Drunkenness. 3. Violatiug the grave.

14. - 9. Public police and economy. 1. Common nuisances. 2. Keeping disorderly houses and bawdy houses. 3. Idleness, vagrancy, and beggary.

15. - 10. Public. policy. 1. Gambling. 2. Illegal lotteries.

16. - 11. Individuals. 1. Homicide, which is justifiable, excusable or felonious.

2. Mayhem. 3. Rape. 4. Poisoning, with intent to murder. 5. Administering drugs to a woman quick with child to cause, miscarriage. 6. Concealing death of bastard child.

7. Assault and battery, which is either simple or with intent to commit some other crime. 8. kidnapping. 9. False imprisonment. 10. Abduction.

17. - 12. Private property. 1. Burglary. 2. Arson. 3. Robbery. 4., Forgery. Counterfeiting. 6. Larceny. 7. Receiving stolen goods, knowing them to have been stolen, or theft-bote. 8. Malicious mischief. 18. - 13. The public, individuals, or their property, according to the intent of the criminal. 1. Conspiracy.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A crime is an act committed or omitted, in violation of a public law, either forbidding or commanding it; a breach or violation of some public right or duty due to a whole community, considered as a community in Its social aggregate capacity, as distinguished from a civil injury. Wilkins v. U. S., 96 Fed. 837, 37 C. C. A. 588; Pounder v. Ashe, 36 Neb. 564, 54 N. W. 847 ; State v. Bishop, 7 Conn. 185 ; In re Bergln, 31 Wis. 386; State v. Brazier, 37 Ohio St. 78; People v. Williams, 24 Mich. 163, 9 Am. Rep. 119; In re Clark, 9 Wend. (N. Y.) 212. "Crime" and "misdemeanor," properly speaking, are synonymous terms; though in common usage "crime" is made to denote such offenses as are of a deeper and more atrocious dye. 4 Bl. Comm 5. Crimes are those wrongs which the government notices as injurious to the public, and punishes in what is called a "criminal proceeding," in Its own name. 1 Bish. Crim. Law, § 43. A crime may be defined to be any act done in violation of those duties which an individual owes to the community, and for the breach of which the law has provided that the offender shall make satisfaction to the public. Bell. A crime or public offence is an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it, and to which is annexed, upon conviction, either of the following punishments:

(1) Death;

(2) imprisonment;

(3) fine;

(4) removal from office; or

(5) disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit in this state. Pen. Code Cal. § 15. A crime or misdemeanor shall consist in a violation of a public law, in the commission of which there shall be a union or joint operation of act and intention, or criminal negligence. Code Ga. 1882, § 4292. Synonyms. According to Blackstone, the word "crime" denotes such offenses as are of a deeper and more atrocious dye, while smaller faults and omissions of less consequence are called "misdemeanors." But the batter use appears to be to make crime a term of broad and general import, including both felonies and misdemeanors, and hence covering nil infract tions of the criminal law. In this sense it is not a technical phrase, strictly speaking, (as "felony" and "misdemeanor" are,) but a convenient general term. In this sense, also, "offence" or "public offence" should be used as synonymous with it. The distinction between a crime and a tort or civil injury is that the former is a breach and violation of the public right and of duties due to the whole community considered as such, and in its social and aggregate capacity; whereas the latter is an infringement or privation of the civil rights of individuals merely. Brown. A crime, as opposed to a civil injury, is the violation of a right, considered in reference to the evil tendency of such violation, as regards the community at large. 4 Steph. Comm. 4. Varieties of crimes.
See also
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A public offence; a wrong against the public; includes every offence. See 24 How. (U. S.) 66,, 16 L. Ed. 717.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary