What is a victimless crime?
A victimless crime is an act that violates an established law with no resulting damage to a person or property. In such cases, there is usually no victim because the illegal activity was consensually entered into which is why victimless crimes are often called consensual crimes.
A mala prohibita violation is normally seen as a victimless crime or a crime that only harms the offender. Mala prohibita (the singluar is malum prohibitum) translates as wrong because it is prohibited.
Typical examples include:
- riding a motorcycle or bicycle without a helmet
- selling raw milk
- kids having a lemonade stand without a government permit
- dancing at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, or any federal memorial, in DC
- video recording law enforcement or any government official performing their official duties
- base jumping from city buildings
- individual purchase and consumption of recreational drugs
- driving a motor vehicle without a seatbelt
- prostitution and/or soliciting for prostitution
- public nudity and fornication
- pornography (not involving children or coercion)
- unlicensed prizefights and similar activities of a sporting nature where the players consent and the audience actively approves of what they see.
- not having a driver’s license
- operating a business without government licenses or permits
- copyright violation regarding illegal mp3s
- wearing a hat in court
At nevertakeaplea.org, we advocate for the removal of victimless crime laws because we believe in the inherent freedom of individuals. Individuals have the right to participate in any actions they choose, as long as these actions do not infringe on the rights of others. This view is based on concepts of self-ownership and the non-aggression principle.