Recidivist Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Recidivist?

(n) Recidvist is the person who repeats same sort of criminal activities even after he is punished for such criminal activities previously. Recidivist gets severe punishment because he is resorting to such activity with full knowledge of its repercussion

History and Meaning of Recidivist

The term "recidivist" is derived from the Latin word "recidīvus," which means "recurring" or "falling back." In legal terms, a recidivist is a repeat offender who engages in the same criminal activities even after being punished for those activities before. Recidivists are considered a higher risk to society because they have shown a pattern of behavior and disregard for the law.

Examples of Recidivist

  1. John was released from prison for robbery, but shortly after his release, he was caught committing another robbery. Because he was a recidivist, he received a harsher sentence than he did for his first offense.
  2. Mary had a history of DUI convictions, but she continued to drink and drive, even after her license was suspended. She was labeled a recidivist and faced a longer jail sentence than she did for her previous convictions.
  3. Tom has been convicted of drug-related offenses multiple times in the past. Despite being warned about the consequences of his actions, he continues to engage in drug trafficking activities. As a recidivist, he is likely to receive a severe sentence if he is caught again.

Legal Terms Similar to Recidivist

  1. Repeat Offender - Similar to a recidivist, a repeat offender is someone who repeatedly commits the same or similar criminal offenses.
  2. Habitual Criminal - A habitual criminal is someone with a long history of criminal activity who is considered a higher risk to society and is typically subject to more severe punishments.
  3. Career Criminal - A career criminal is an individual who has made a living out of committing crimes over an extended period of time. They are considered recidivists and usually face hefty jail sentences if caught.