Vocabulary of Crime and Law in Italian!

In this lesson, we are going to deal with a rather delicate topic: the vocabulary of Crime and Law, by analyzing the various definitions of the crimes and those who commit them and the legal aspects related to them. Stay with us because there’s a lot to learn!

Vocabulary of criminality and law in Italian

Let’s start by saying that, in Italian, a person who breaks the law, takes the name of: delinquente (thug) or  criminale (criminal).

Obviously there are several types of criminals based on the crimes they commit:

Ladro (Thief)

Thieves are those criminals who steal other people’s stuff and they are divided into:

scassinatore (burglars): they’re expert in picking locks, so they usually steal in other people’s apartments

rapinatore (robbers): they’re specialized in robbery, namely violent theft with threats to take possession of the spoil. The highest number of robberies is registered at banks, tobacco stores, pharmacies and shops.

borseggiatore (pickpockets): they’re thieves specialized in taking possession, with dexterity, of wallets, bags and valuables

Among other criminals, we find:

Spacciatore (Drug dealer)

The “spacciatore” is specialized in selling drugs and an various addictive substances like: cocaine, hashish but also medicines without medical recipe

Contrabbandiere (Smuggler) 

The “contrabbandiere” smuggles forbidden substances or products illegally , in a Country, without authorization of transportation

At last, among the worst criminals, we find:

Assassino and Omicida (Murderer) 

People who belong to these categories kill other people, but with a difference:

assassino: always kills in a deliberate and premeditated manner, and the act of killing takes the name of “assassinio” .

omicida: can refer to as much a person who killed unwillingly as a person who killed deliberately.

In case of involuntary manslaughter caused by, for example, a car accident as result of a distraction while using the phone,  we will say it’s a case of omicidio colposo (negligent homicide), while the voluntary killing takes the name of omicidio doloso (willful murder).

Alright, now let’s see some terms from the legal-penal sphere:

Prigione/Carcere (Prison/Jail)

It’s the place where the criminals are taken, after being busted and arrested by law enforcement (Police, Customs corps, Army).

Giudice (Judge)

In a trial, the “giudice” pronounces an acquittal verdict or a sentence of condemnation to the person who is under suspicious (and arrested) for a crime.

Imputato (Accused)

The “imputato” is the person who has been charged with committing the crime and brought before the court. The “imputato” can be assolto (acquitted),  if the judge assesses that there’s no guilt of the crime, or condannato (sentenced), if the judge assesses that there’s involvement in the crime.

Avvocato (Attorney)

It’s the person who has the task to defend the accused from the charges.  There are two types of attorneys:

avvocato civilista (civil attorney): deals with controversies between private parties that include, for example: contracts, inheritance, family law ecc.

avvocato penalista (criminal attorney): mainly deals with offences like: robbery, drug dealing, homicide which implicate more severe sentences.

Fedina Penale (Criminal Record)

The “fedina penale” is a sheet or a certificate that attests the relationship of a person with justice: if they have been sentenced, how many sentences they’ve received, for which crimes, ecc. People who’ve never been sentenced for a crime,  will have the fedina penale pulita (clean slate), while those people who have been sentenced for a crime by a judge,  will have the fedina penale sporca (rap sheet).

Arresti Domiciliari (House Arrest)

The “arresti domiciliari” are a particular kind of sentence which shall require the convicted person to not leave the residence or, in some cases, to not leave it only at certain times of the day. Usually, House Arrest is applied when the crime is not too serious or if the condemned had a spotless record at the moment of the arrest.

Alright this is our of crime and law vocabulary, but, if you like, you can also take a look at our video on the  vocabulary of the equipment in the kitchen: it’s light and funny!

Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!

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