Crimes against Public Order
Alyson Cook, November 21, 2011
Crimes against Public Order
Public order crimes consist of crimes that society has deemed morally wrong. Public order crimes do not have a victim but are considered harmful or disruptive to the community??™s daily life. Society expects to live a life free of worry and crime. Unfortunately public order crimes are occurring and deter this simple expectation from becoming a reality. The responsibility of curtailing and reporting public order crimes has become a situation society takes very seriously.
Prostitution is considered a public order crime and is illegal in every state except for the state of Nevada. ???Prostitution is the act of offering one??™s self for hire to engage in sexual relations,??? (Legal Dictionary). Some women choose to enter prostitution while others are forced into it. Regardless of situation prostitution is a danger crime leaving women and in some cases men vulnerable to violent behaviors and intimidation by potential clients. Women are often beaten or raped by clients, or can be robbed of the money they have earned. Other situations may warrant beatings by their employers or turning over their profits to avoid abuse.
???Besides engaging in prostitution, offering, or soliciting acts of prostitution, laws which vary by state, also make it a crime to cause or aid a person to commit or engage in prostitution, procure or solicit patrons for prostitution, provide persons or premises for prostitution purposes, receive or accept money or other thing of value pursuant to a prior or agreement with any person whereby he or she participates or is to participate in the proceeds of any prostitution activity, operate or assist in the operation of a house of prostitution or a prostitution enterprise,??? (US Legal).
It can be expensive to the criminal justice system to enforce laws against prostitution. In some cases it can cost thousands of dollars to make arrests. Some departments use undercover police to pose as possible clients and to pose as prostitutes in an attempt to make multiple arrests at one time. . However, decoy arrest could lead to a legal entrapment defenses if the officers are not careful with their arrest. Sometimes it is easier to target clients of prostitution, ???Community groups have organized to expose prostitution clients??™ families or employers. This can be done by photographing or videotaping clients, calling clients??™ families or employers, and writing down license plate numbers of vehicles seen driving around prostitution strips??? (Center for Problem Oriented Policing).
DWI crimes are public order crimes. In definition public order crimes are crimes that disturb society. Not many in society today realize DWI crimes are public order crimes as public order crimes are often seen as victimless crimes. DWI shows that the act itself only harms the offender and no one else. In the case of DWI, which carries the definition of driving while intoxicated.??? In this case the offender is operating a vehicle impaired by drugs or alcohol. The legal application of DWI will vary upon severity and number of offenses. Although considered a public order crime DWI may also be a criminal crime that can be compared to acts of involuntary manslaughter, and vehicular manslaughter. Upon establishment of guilt in a case of DWI penalties will vary. These variables include blood alcohol content at the time of arrest, which can mandate a stiffer penalty if found excessive. One common penalty is found in every state ???In all states, first-offense DUI or DWI is classified as a misdemeanor and punishable by up to six months in jail.??? DWI has serious implications on the criminal justice system as the severity of the crime is addressed so repeat offenses are not a rising issue for law enforcement. Because DWI is not considered a felony on first offense many in society believe the punishment does not fit the crime and permits offenders to repeat several times.
Crimes against the Government
Crimes against the government carry the definition in ???Criminal Law Today???? text as an act of ???treason, perjury and contempt, obstruction of justice, escape, misconduct in office and bribery??? (Schmalleger, 2004). These implications of these crimes on the criminal justice system are severe as the purpose of criminal law in these areas carry the definition as the need to ???protect the innocent and preserve the political process of representative democracy and free elections???
???Obscenity is the state or quality of being obscene: Indecency, lewdness, or offensiveness in behavior, expression, or appearance??? (Answers.com 2011). To behave in an obscene manner is defined by any act that contains visual representation of physical nudity. For example, if a gentleman was found in a public place unclothed and exposing his body to the public his actions would be considered obscene as he was acting in a manner deemed inappropriate by society??™s standards. In other situations obscene behavior may be a tool to garner attention or shock effect from the victims such as the case of streaking during a public event or the case of an offender exposing them briefly by ???flashing??? their body to someone on the street.
Lewdness can posses several definitions. Lewd can be defined as a matter of personal opinion or a legal term. In a legal way lewdness is classified together with an act of obscenity. The role of obscenity in correlation to lewd behavior is defined by the parameters of each state. Obscene and lewd behavior is a situation in which an individual demonstrates behaviors in public that would be considered inappropriate or shocking to society. For example a show of nudity or use of offensive language or gestures could be deemed lewd behavior. Acts of lewdness carry different definitions and do not always mean the physical nudity in the act. In some cases lewd behavior is an act of urinating in a public place or as many teenagers find out the act of ???making out??? or ???parking??? in their vehicle; these acts are considered public lewdness and is punishable by law. The severity of the behavior will usually define the punishment. Conclusion
Society at times will turn a blind eye to public crimes or in the worst case scenario not even realize a crime is being committed. By not realizing these crimes are being committed there is no stop to the behaviors. As generations and lifestyles change what becomes acceptable to society changes as well but laws do dictate polite behavior within a public forum and punish those who cannot behave in a manner deemed appropriate by those laws. By adhering to these laws as a society and setting the example for future generations we provide the ground work to combat these crimes effectively and remain in compliance to the behaviors society has deemed acceptable.
Center for Problem Oriented Policing (2011) retrieved from http://popcenter.org/problems/street_prostitution/3
Schmalleger, F. (2010). Criminal law today: An introduction with capstone cases. (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.