Victimless Crimes: Definition, Types & Examples

Victimless Crimes: Definition, Types & Examples
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  • 0:02 Victimless Crimes
  • 0:38 Types
  • 0:58 Examples
  • 1:42 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Schubert

Jessica is a practicing attorney and has taught law and has a J.D. and LL.M.

Learn what constitutes victimless crimes. Review the definition of the term and examine different types of victimless crimes. Finally, review several examples of victimless crimes that likely occur every day.

Victimless Crimes

A fun weekend trip to Las Vegas, also known as 'Sin City,' stereotypically includes the opportunities to engage in several victimless crimes, such as public drunkenness, prostitution, illegal drug use and of course, gambling.

A victimless crime is an act that is illegal but has no direct victim. Typically, the parties involved are voluntarily acting. Also, the parties may be consenting adults. Therefore, there is no harm directly and specifically imposed upon another person and as a result, there is no victim.


Let's take a look at some of the victimless crimes that do not specifically and directly harm another person. These include the following:

  • Prostitution
  • Drug use
  • Trespassing
  • Traffic citations
  • Public drunkenness
  • Suicide
  • Gambling


Let's look at a couple of examples to get a better understanding of what constitutes a victimless crime.

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