83 Common Criminal Offences in English and Chinese

Note that this is not an official list and that different countries have different names for different offences.

Even in Australia, laws and technical terms in courts and legislation differ considerably from state to state, so none of these criminal charges can be considered official titles. Bearing this mind, this list should only be a starting point in building up your legal vocabulary.

Remember, also, that this list only includes criminal charges – acts which are usually considered torts such as trespass, defamation, etc, are not covered.

83 Common Criminal Offences in English and Chinese

  1. Absconding (evading the jurisdiction of the court): 潜逃
  2. Aiding and abetting (not present at the actual crime, but responsible in some way for it; to be an accessory or accomplice): 从犯
  3. Affray (fighting in public): 斗殴;打架
  4. Arson (intentionally burn a building): 纵火
  5. Assault (violent or fearful act forced upon someone): 袭击
  6. Attempted murder: 杀人未遂
  7. Battery (unlawful touching, distinct from assault): 殴打罪
  8. Bestiality (sex between humans and animals): 兽奸
  9. Bigamy (getting married while being married to someone else): 重婚
  10. Breach of the peace (harm or attempt to harm a person or property in public, e.g. through assault, affray, riot, etc): 扰乱治安
  11. Burglary (entering a building illicitly to commit a crime; breaking and entering): 入室盗窃罪
  12. Carrying a firearm (be in possession of an unlawful weapon): 非法持械
  13. Causing an explosion (setting off a bomb or other type of explosion): 造成爆炸
  14. Child abandonment (totally giving up responsibility and care for one’s child): 遗弃子女
  15. Child abuse (physical, sexual or emotional mistreatment or neglect of children): 虐待儿童
  16. Child pornography: 儿童色情
  17. Computer crime (cybercrime): 电脑犯罪
  18. Conspiracy (agreement between people to break the law): 同谋
  19. Contempt of court (disobey or be disrespectful to the court): 藐视法庭罪
  20. Courier of drugs (smuggle drugs in and out of a country; to be a drug mule): 运毒罪
  21. Cyber-bullying (harassment via use of communication technologies): 网上欺凌
  22. Damaging property: 损害财物
  23. Destroying property: 毁灭财物
  24. Drinking and driving (drunk driving; driving under the influence of alcohol): 酒后驾驶
  25. Driving an unregistered vehicle: 驾驶未注册车辆
  26. Driving carelessly (driving without due care and attention): 粗心驾驶罪
  27. Driving recklessly (driving in a dangerous manner): 鲁莽驾驶
  28. Driving whilst disqualified: 驾照吊销期间开车
  29. Driving without a license: 无证驾车
  30. Drug cultivation: 毒品种植
  31. Drug dealing (selling drugs): 毒品交易
  32. Drug possession: 私藏毒品
  33. Drug use: 吸毒;使用毒品
  34. Drug trafficking (manufacturing, importing, distributing and selling drugs): 非法交易;走私毒品;偷运毒品
  35. Drunk and disorderly (public intoxication): 酗酒滋事罪
  36. Embezzlement (making use of property or money from a public or private source; misappropriation): 挪用;盗用;侵吞
  37. Extortion (obtain money, property or services through coercion; blackmail): 勒索
  38. False imprisonment (detaining someone against their will or without legal justification): 非法监禁
  39. Felony (serious offence): 重罪
  40. Forgery (producing illegal copies of written documents): 伪造
  41. Fraud (dishonest and deceitful behaviour): 诈骗
  42. Furnishing false information (giving incorrect or deceitful information to police or courts): 提供虚假材料
  43. Grievous bodily harm (GBH; serious bodily harm): 身体严重受伤;严重伤害罪
  44. Handling stolen goods: 处理赃物
  45. Hijacking (taking control of a vehicle – plane, car, train, etc – unlawfully): 劫持
  46. Hit and run (be involved in a car accident and fail to stop and give assistance or name and address): 肇事逃逸;撞人逃逸
  47. Homicide (killing of a person by another e.g. murder, manslaughter, infanticide, etc.): 杀人;他杀
  48. Hooning (driving fast, noisily and recklessly): 飙车
  49. Human trafficking (illegal trade of people for slavery or other forms of exploitation): 人口贩卖
  50. Incest (sexual intercourse between close relatives): 近亲性交;乱伦
  51. Indecent assault (forced, unwanted sexual behaviour): 非礼
  52. Indecent exposure (deliberate and inappropriate exposure of genitalia or breasts in public): 有伤风化的暴露;猥亵性暴露
  53. Indictable offence (serious crime which can be tried before a judge and jury): 可检控罪;公诉罪
  54. Infanticide (killing of a child): 杀婴
  55. Intimidation (use of violence or threats to compel someone to do something): 恐吓
  56. Kidnapping (taking someone away against their will; abduction): 綁票;綁架
  57. Larceny (wrongful taking of someone’s property): 盗窃罪
  58. Manslaughter (accidental killing of a person): 误杀  
  59. Misdemeanour (less serious crime usually punished by fines and/or short-term imprisonment): 轻罪
  60. Money laundering (disguising the origins of money obtained illegally): 洗钱
  61. Murder: 谋杀罪
  62. Offensive conduct/language: 言语/行为冒犯
  63. Perjury (lying under oath): 伪证
  64. Perverting the course of justice (acting in a way that prevents justice being served): 妨碍司法公正
  65. Prison escape (leave prison illegally; jail break; prison break): 越狱
  66. Prostitution: 性交易;卖淫
  67. Public indecency (indecent exposure, sexual intercourse or masturbation in public): 公然猥亵罪
  68. Racial vilification (inciting hatred or violence against a race or nationality): 种族诽谤
  69. Rape: 强奸
  70. Refusing breath test (refusing to use a breathalyser when asked by police): 拒绝酒精含量测试
  71. Resisting arrest (refusing to allow oneself to be arrested by police): 拒捕
  72. Rioting: 暴乱
  73. Robbery (stealing something of value by force or fear): 抢劫
  74. Sexual abuse (undesired sexual behaviour forced upon another person, especially for a long period; molestation): 性虐待
  75. Sexual assault (assault of a sexual nature without consent): 性侵犯
  76. Sexual harassment (harassing someone by sexual innuendo or touching): 性骚扰
  77. Speeding: 超速
  78. Stalking: 跟踪
  79. Summary offence (minor offence heard in a magistrates’ court): 简易罪;简易程序罪;即决罪
  80. Terrorism: 恐怖主义
  81. Theft: 偷盗;盗窃
  82. Treason (betray one’s country, especially to engage in unlawful behaviour that jeopardises national security): 叛国罪
  83. Unlawful assembly (assembling as a group to intimidate someone or compel them to do something unlawful): 非法集会

15 Comments to "83 Common Criminal Offences in English and Chinese"

  1. 03/08/2011 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    Inciting the overthrow of the state
    Doesn’t come up in Australia very often though. 😉

  2. 03/08/2011 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Crimes against humanity

    Again, not going to come up in local court soon, but probably important too.

  3. 03/08/2011 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    Animal cruelty: 虐待动物
    Bribery: 行賄贿赂
    Bribery, accepting: 受贿
    Counterfeiting currency: 制造假币 or 伪钞
    Euthanasia, assisted suicide: 安乐死
    Gambling: 赌博
    Hate speech: 仇恨言论
    Juvenile crime: 青少年犯罪
    Piracy (selling counterfeit media): 盗版
    Piracy (violence at sea): 海盗(行为)
    Poisoning (administering harmful substance): 下毒
    Tax evasion: 逃税
    Vandalism: 破坏 (can also refer to sabotage, e.g. corporate)

  4. 03/08/2011 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    Eek, there’s supposed to be a comma between 行賄 and 贿赂.

  5. JB's Gravatar JB
    11/08/2011 - 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Just a suggestion that you include a Chinese title for your blog posts in addition to English.

  6. Anni's Gravatar Anni
    22/03/2012 - 4:51 pm | Permalink

    “Hit and run” : It’s better if you use 撞人逃逸

  7. Anni's Gravatar Anni
    22/03/2012 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Also, “Grievous bodily harm (GBH;serious bodily harm)” should be 严重伤害罪 because 受伤 means “get hurt”.

  8. Winnie's Gravatar Winnie
    31/12/2015 - 5:58 am | Permalink


    No. 2 Aiding and abetting. in Hong Kong we translated it as ‘协助及教唆’ because ‘从犯’ only means accomplice.


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