Assault is a crime of violence, which is defined differently from one state to another. Some states define assault as the intentional use of force or violence against another, such as punching a person or striking the victim with an object. (A few states even lump assault and battery into one crime, which is defined as a physical attack.)
The crime of battery is the intentional touching of another in an angry manner or the intentional use of force or violence against another. Grabbing someone’s arm, pushing or punching a person or striking a victim with an object are all crimes of battery.
Traditionally, arson was a crime that prohibited burning someone else's home, dwelling, or nearby property. Its purpose was to protect people from having their property burned while they were still inside.
Of all the crimes punished by society, none are more serious than the crime of murder, the intentional and unlawful taking of a human life. Apart from the federal crimes of espionage and treason, murder is the only crime for which the death penalty is a potential punishment, though only in some states.
Battery against a police officer involves causing injury to a law enforcement officer (or, in some states, attempting to or threatening to cause injury) . It is treated as a very serious crime. Many states have specific and harsh penalties that apply to battery against a police officer.
When most people think of burglary, they think of a thief in a black outfit sneaking into someone's home or a museum in the middle of the night. While such activity definitely counts as burglary, the legal definition applies to a much broader range of activities.
A potent stimulant known as cocaine is derived from the leaves of the South American coca plant. Under federal law and the law of all fifty states, possession of any amount of cocaine is a crime. And, crack cocaine (a form of cocaine that is processed even further than powder cocaine to achieve a cheaper version) carries heavier penalties under federal and some state laws.
Children occupy a special place in the law. Legal systems presume that children do not have the mental capacity to care for themselves or make their own choices. Instead, many of the choices a child has are often made by the child's parent, legal guardian, or custodian.
Even though the Constitution guarantees the right of free speech, that right is not an absolute one. The law has long recognized specific limitations when it comes to speech, such as prohibitions against slander and libel.