Offense Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Offense, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Offense?

n. It refers to a crime or breach of law to any degree or extent.

History and Definition of Offense

Offense has been used in the legal context for centuries to refer to any action or behavior that violates a law or legal norm. The term can encompass anything from minor traffic violations to the most serious violent crimes. Offense is a generic term that can be used to refer to any type of criminal act, including both felonies and misdemeanors.

Examples of Offense

  1. John committed an offense by driving under the influence of alcohol.
  2. The company committed an offense by violating labor laws and failing to pay their workers minimum wage.
  3. The defendant was charged with offenses including aggravated assault and battery.
  4. The police officer issued a traffic citation for an offense of speeding.
  5. Selling drugs is considered an offense under both state and federal law.

Legal Terms Similar to Offense

  1. Crime - a broader term that encompasses all types of illegal activity.
  2. Violation - a term used to refer to a specific breach of a particular law or regulation.
  3. Misdemeanor - a less serious criminal offense, typically punishable by a fine, probation, or up to one year in jail.
  4. Felony - a more serious criminal offense that carries a potential penalty of imprisonment for a year or more.
  5. Infraction - a minor offense or violation of a minor law or regulation.