It is generally believed that a person who is a criminal is one who violates the laws put into place to safeguard the well being and the property of all of the people who live within the country where that criminal resides. Such criminal behavior is also considered to be a form of anti-social and/or abnormal behavior. You see, the criminal has to stay alive but for some reason that criminal is not willing to seek and/or desire an honest way to earn a living. Then again, some people commit crimes for other reasons than to stay healthy and alive.
During times of severe economic depression the crime rate increases because starving and/or homeless people need to stay alive, just as the rest of us. So too, the social pressures associated with our so-called, modern society also cause people who would otherwise not be criminals to commit one or more criminal acts against their fellow human beings.
The legal system within any country is usually for the purpose of protecting the well being and the property of the citizens within that country. Laws were also created for the purpose of providing guidelines for the determination of criminal behavior and those laws are usually obeyed and enforced by law enforcement and the people who staff those various courts of law.
So too, within each of those courts of law a determination is made, in regard to the guilt or innocence of the accused. If you haven't already guessed, lawyers usually assist the accused; and lawyers also assist an alleged injured party and/or victim during the jury process to insure that all of the facts of the case are brought to light and for the consideration of the members of the jury, if such a jury is required. For each charge the verdict is either guilty or not guilty.
As a citizen of the United States of America, in spite of a legal system that took more than 200 years to develop and is still evolving, there are millions of criminals at large. Each of those people committed a criminal act, in regard to the written laws of our country. Keep in mind that every person who is arrested and charged for a particular crime must have a trial and be judged guilty of the crime for which charged before any further punishment is prescribed by the judge on the bench.
According to the people who work within the legal system, an alleged criminal becomes a criminal after that person has received a fair trial and is judged to be guilty as charged.
There are many, so called, out-dated laws that should be removed from our criminal justice system because they are no longer relevant in our modern society. Then again, we certainly do need a whole lot of new laws, as well as the strict enforcement of some of our older laws.
From a moral point of view, people should be able to find honest work within each and every country on Earth. Millions of people get by on our Earth simply by growing and/or hunting for their own food. However, when that means of survival is not available to a starving person or that person seeks what he or she believes is the best way to get rich quick, those people end up as criminals, even if they are not arrested and punished for those crimes.
There is another group of people who commit crimes because they truly enjoy doing what they are doing to others. The rapist, the serial killer and other similar crimes that inflict torture and/or death to others is also regarded as insane criminal behavior. Yes, and you better believe that every place on Earth does contain at least one person who gains pleasure from the infliction of harm to others.
A criminal or an alleged criminal is one who violates any of the laws created by the people within each and every society on Earth and we all would be better off if those laws were actively enforced by the people who we honor and the people we respect and know as "Officers of the Law."