Repeated and cumulative crimes, relapse

Recidivism of crimes: concept and main types

Let's start with the question, what is recidivism:

Recidivism of a crime is the intentional commission of a crime by a person previously convicted of committing other crimes provided for by the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Main features of the concept:

  1. The perpetrator has a criminal record;
  2. Intentionality to commit a crime;
  3. Reaching the age of criminal responsibility (over 16 (sometimes 14) years.

The criminal law of the Russian Federation provides for three types of recidivism:

  1. Simple relapse (Clause 1 of Article 18 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)
  2. Dangerous relapse (clause 2 of Article 18 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation);
  3. Particularly dangerous relapse (Clause 3 of Article 18 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

As we see, recidivism of crimes of all types is considered in one article 18 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, however, the choice of punishment will depend on certain criteria.

The main criteria for determining the severity of relapse are as follows:

  • Determination of the category and severity of previously and newly committed crimes;
  • The total number of convictions of the accused person;
  • Whether the person found committing a crime again was previously subject to criminal punishment in the form of imprisonment and for what period of time;
  • Determining the age of the subject of the crime (criminal);
  • Determination of the form of guilt and motive for re-committing a crime.

Only after analyzing the specified criteria will the court choose a punishment for the repeat offender. As a rule, in such matters, the choice is not simply deprivation of liberty and imprisonment in special colonies: “experienced” recidivist criminals are more likely to end up in strict or special regime colonies. Persons convicted for the first time often serve their sentences in more lenient conditions: general regime colonies or settlement colonies.

Features of the totality of crimes

A set of crimes should be distinguished from compositions that are complex in design, in which the objective side includes several acts, each of which forms an independent crime. Thus, robbery (Article 162 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) includes assault (crime against a person) and taking someone else’s property; banditry (Article 209 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) may include the organization of an armed gang, participation in it and the attacks it commits. All these crimes are united, since they are included in one crime; they form not two, but one crime.

In cases of committing a complex crime, and then re-committing a crime that is part of the first, the crime committed forms a set of crimes. Thus, the commission at the beginning of a robbery involving the intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm (Article 162 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), and then another crime - the intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm (Article 111 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) should be assessed as a set of crimes.

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When is committing a crime again considered a relapse?

As we wrote above, in order for a crime to be defined as recurrent, certain conditions specified in Article 18 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation must be met. Namely:

  1. Current criminal record

Cases when a person commits a new criminal offense with an open (current) criminal record. For example, during the period of early release.

  1. Coming of age

In addition, all crimes committed before the age of 18 will not be counted, and therefore recidivism will not be recognized. (we'll talk about this a little later)

  1. The presence of only real criminal punishment

It is not enough to have a criminal record in order for a recidivism to be recognized; the offender must have previously served a real prison sentence in the form of imprisonment (isolation from society). A suspended sentence and other similar punishments will not be able to create a relapse of crimes.

  1. Only intentional crimes are considered

In other words, only those who committed crimes with direct intent are recognized as repeat offenders. A crime of negligence of any severity will become the basis for recognition of a recidivism.

see also

  • Crime
  • Criminal record
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This page was last edited on July 30, 2022 at 2:50 pm.

Dangerous relapse

So, the main signs of a dangerous recidivism will be as follows:

  1. The first type of crime: Again - the intentionality of the crimes committed (both the first and repeated);
  2. Degree of severity - from a serious crime and above - the maximum sentence is 10 years of imprisonment;
  3. Having two or more convictions for intentionally committing crimes of medium gravity;
  • Second type of crime:
      The criminal has previously served a sentence of imprisonment for committing a serious or especially serious crime;
  • Serving an actual prison sentence, i.e. direct detention in a colony.
  • The maximum sentence can be over ten years in prison.
  • As we see, a dangerous relapse of crimes is different in that the offender’s repeated crime becomes more serious and more dangerous for society, compared to his first “drives” to the dock.

    What is considered a relapse of the disease?

    In medicine, a relapse is the resumption of clinical manifestations of a disease after their temporary disappearance (stage of remission).

    It occurs because the real causes of the disease are not eliminated during treatment.

    For example, a person has cancer. Undergoes several courses of chemotherapy or undergoes surgery. However, multicentric tumor rudiments or micrometastases remain in his body, which cannot be detected by diagnostic results.

    For several months or even years the patient does not complain of feeling unwell and considers himself recovered, since the visible tumor focus was removed by surgeons. But over time, micrometastases resume growth and cancer symptoms return.

    prone to relapse :

    1. gout (what is it?);
    2. rheumatism;
    3. arthritis (what is it?);
    4. stomach ulcer;
    5. pancreatitis (what is it?);
    6. leukemia;
    7. some types of malignant neoplasms: skin melanoma, breast cancer, intestinal cancer, brain tumor.

    From a medical point of view , a recurrence of a particular type of cancer is considered only when the tumor grows again in the same place. If metastases appear in a different location, doctors make a different diagnosis.

    A combination of two reasons leads to the return of infectious diseases: the persistence of a pathogen (pathogen) in the human body and weakened immunity.

    This is how the clinical manifestations of typhoid fever, erysipelas, dysentery, malaria, and salmonellosis are repeated. But do not confuse relapse with reinfection. In the latter case, re-infection occurs due to the fact that the pathogen enters the body from the external environment.

    Particularly dangerous recidivism

    It would be logical to assume, without yet knowing the material, that a particularly dangerous recidivism is the repeated prosecution of a criminal guilty of committing a particularly serious crime.

    So, the main signs of a particularly dangerous relapse are similar to a dangerous type of relapse:

    1. The presence of two or more convictions for committing serious crimes or the presence of a conviction for at least one particularly serious crime;
    2. Serving an actual prison sentence, i.e. deprivation of liberty;
    3. Committing a new crime of medium or special gravity.

    In other words, a person convicted of a crime of extreme cruelty, or of repeating a serious crime. That is, the court sees that serving a criminal sentence has not corrected him, and the offender again and purposefully commits a crime against the life and health of others. Namely, this is a particularly dangerous relapse for society.

    Only a court can recognize a dangerous or especially dangerous type of recidivism of crimes during a court hearing; the investigator has the right only to establish the fact of a repeated commission of a crime, qualifying it as an aggravated crime. The investigator does not have the right to threaten a suspect with tougher punishment for refusing to assist the investigation.

    Please note that to recognize a recidivism, it is a criminal record that is required, and not the total number of crimes committed. It is quite possible that a criminal could receive only one conviction for committing two crimes.

    In some cases, criminals who have already been in the dock and sentenced to imprisonment may not be recognized as repeat offenders in the future, if these crimes were of moderate severity and one general court sentence was received. The main reason: this person will have one conviction when 2 felony convictions are required to be considered a recidivist!

    If a criminal manages to commit a crime during the period between the announcement of the verdict and its entry into legal force (10 days from the last court hearing), then he will not be recognized as a repeat offender, since at the time the crime was committed he did not have a criminal record.

    It is for this reason that many witnesses to crimes who testified in court fall under enhanced protection during the specified period, until the court verdict is confirmed.

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    Characteristics of the concept

    Recidivism is a type of multiple offenses. Unlike other types of multiplicity of crimes, the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation determines recidivism only in case of outstanding convictions. Article 18 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation determines that the offender must have an outstanding criminal record at the time of committing a new crime, and not at the time of sentencing for the second crime.

    Convictions for intentional violations of minor gravity, crimes committed as a minor, as well as crimes due to negligence are not taken into account. When determining the repetition of criminal activity, actions committed outside of Russia or atrocities under extenuating circumstances are not taken into account. The legislator does not take into account the suspended serving of a sentence, as well as the application of deferment of serving the assigned sanction

    The legislator does not take into account the conditional serving of a sentence, as well as the application of a deferment of serving the assigned sanction.

    Prosecution in the presence of the above-mentioned convictions will serve as a reason for imposing a more stringent penalty. These circumstances will be taken into account by the judge as characterizing the personality of the perpetrator.

    As for the concept of recidivism, it can only occur with a certain combination of crimes committed intentionally. The basis for determining the actions of a violator are two main criteria: the number of convictions and the level of severity of the crime.

    Recidivism of crimes is a fairly broad concept; accordingly, it contains a number of signs by which it can be recognized:

    • one subject of the crime must commit two or more violations of the law characterized by intentional guilt;
    • a new violation must be carried out in the presence of a conviction for an intentional violation (the simultaneous commission of two or more crimes is not considered a recidivism);
    • When determining the stipulated concept, such features as the actually served sentence and the imposed sanction for a previously committed crime are taken into account.

    Recidivism of a crime is a compelling argument for excluding the possibility of expunging a criminal record; only expungement is allowed. In addition, a repeated crime in itself serves as an aggravating circumstance, which in turn entails tougher penalties.

    The concept of “recidivism” allows the judge to impose a sanction of more than 10 years in prison, even if the article regulated by the perpetrator does not accommodate such a sanction. In criminal law, recidivism is also a reason for establishing supervision after serving a sentence. In a number of cases, it gives rise to a ban on parole or its replacement with a mild form of sanction.

    What convictions are not taken into account when recognizing a recidivism?

    Recurrence of crimes does not always lead to harsher punishment for a newly committed crime, since the following factors are not taken into account when recognizing recidivism:

    • Having a criminal record only for committing crimes of minor gravity, albeit intentionally;
    • All convictions received for committing a crime before the offender reached the age of 18;
    • If the previous penalties were: Conditional;
    • There was a stay of execution.

    Thus, if a criminal convicted of re-committing a crime was previously sentenced to a suspended sentence or for committing a crime of minor gravity, then a recidivism of the crime will not be recognized.

    Problems of sentencing

    The following criteria are subject to assessment:

    • categories of crimes (latest, previously committed);
    • the number of criminal records that a citizen has;
    • whether the accused was previously sentenced to actual prison terms;
    • age of the offender;
    • the form of his guilt (direct, indirect intent, mixed guilt);
    • types of punishment;
    • extenuating circumstances.

    Only the assessment of all of the above criteria allows the authorized bodies to objectively assess the current situation and make an objective decision regarding the criminal.

    Thus, criminal law provides for certain conditions that exclude relapse:

    • legally annulled criminal records (removed, expunged);
    • crimes characterized by minor gravity;
    • offenses recognized as a result of negligence;
    • offenses committed by a minor (that is, those criminal records that a citizen acquired before he reached the age of majority are not taken into account).
    • suspended sentences (provided that this decision was not canceled);
    • deferment of sentences (if the decision was not overturned).

    General and special type of recidivism

    Criminal law is considered one of the most complex, since legislators needed to provide for all possible situations when committing crimes, so that each guilty person received exactly what they deserved, no more and no less.

    Therefore, the following classification of recidivism of crimes according to the nature of its occurrence was established:

    1. General relapse

    These are situations in which the offender commits a crime again (intentionally), but it is not identical to the old one. For example, he was previously convicted of robbery, and two years later he is accused of murder. In this case, recidivism will be common.

    1. Special relapse.

    This is the repeated intentional commission of the same crime as previously with a previous conviction for it. That is, if a criminal previously served a sentence for murder, then with a second murder committed after his release from prison, his actions will be classified as a special recidivism.


    Relapses are classified according to different criteria.

    Thus, from the point of view of the nature of the actions performed, the following types of relapses are distinguished:

    1. General. If a citizen who has previously committed an intentional criminal offense again commits an intentional act, but of a different nature. For example, the first time he was convicted of murder, and the second time he is on trial for theft. In this case, the committed actions have a different criminal orientation.
    2. Special.
      If a citizen commits an offense similar to a previously committed offense. That is, they are homogeneous or completely identical. For example, in the first case, a citizen is detained for grand theft, and in the second for ordinary theft - homogeneous offenses. If a particularly large theft is committed both times, we are talking about the same acts.

    By degree of danger:

    1. Simple. An intentional violation of the law is carried out by a person previously convicted of an intentional crime.
    2. Dangerous. Conviction (real imprisonment) for a serious act, provided that two or more offenses of moderate gravity were committed before. Also, conviction for a serious act, if there was previously a conviction (real imprisonment) for a serious, especially serious act.

    Particularly dangerous. Conviction (real imprisonment) for a serious act, provided that serious offenses punishable by real imprisonment have been committed twice before. Committing a particularly grave act, if there are two grave ones in the past, a particularly grave act.

    The meaning of recidivism

    More precisely, why such a concept as “recidivism” was introduced into the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

    The main task of criminal liability is not so much to punish the criminal as to rehabilitate him, as well as to protect society from persons dangerous to him. Therefore, if a criminal, having been released, again goes against the law, then the court considers that the prison sentence did not change him for the better, but on the contrary. Often such persons become extremely dangerous to the people around them.

    That's why:

    1. Recidivism of crimes is considered a ground aggravating criminal punishment (Article 63 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation);
    2. It becomes a circumstance influencing the choice of place of imprisonment in correctional institutions (Article 58 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation);
    3. The term of criminal punishment for committing a crime when a recidivism is recognized is calculated as follows (Article 68 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation): At least 1/3 of the maximum term allowed for this crime;
    4. If there are aggravating circumstances of committing a crime, the judge will choose the most severe type of punishment provided for in the article for committing this crime.

    Recidivism in Russian criminal law

    Recidivism of crimes is taken into account by the court when assigning punishment. Recidivism entails increased criminal liability measures, or (if the previous sentence has not yet been served) the application of sentencing rules based on the totality of sentences. Until 2003, recidivism was also taken into account in the articles of the special part of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation as a qualifying feature of certain crimes.

    Recognition of a person's actions as a relapse of crimes in the presence of all signs of a relapse of a certain type is the responsibility of the court. Recidivism is an aggravating circumstance. In this case, in the absence of mitigating circumstances, the person is sentenced to no less than one third of the maximum term of the most severe type of punishment provided for in the relevant article of the Special Part of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Part 2 of Article 68 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

    Recidivism also influences the choice of correctional institution in which to serve a sentence of imprisonment: men with relapse and dangerous recidivism of crimes serve their sentences in high-security correctional colonies, and with particularly dangerous recidivism of crimes - in special-regime correctional colonies or prisons. Recidivism does not affect the choice of place of imprisonment for women.

    Recidivism of crimes: limits of punishment

    The first and main rule when choosing a measure of criminal punishment for a repeat offender is that the term of imprisonment cannot be less than one third of the maximum established by this article of the Criminal Code. For example, if a criminal has committed a crime for which the maximum sentence is 12 years, then he cannot expect that the sentence will be less than 4 years.

    In addition, if in the absence of a relapse the offender could get off with fines for committing certain crimes (for example, theft), then if he has early convictions he will be sentenced to at least 1 year 8 months (one third of the maximum possible term - 5 years).

    In addition, dangerous recidivist criminals are deprived of the right to a suspended sentence under paragraph B of Part 2 of Article 73 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, since they a priori cannot reform without isolation from society, and therefore the court is obliged to send them to prison in order to protect the people around them from possible crimes against them.

    Term of punishment

    The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Article 68) determines that the permissible term is at least 1/3 of the longest term of the most severe punishment provided for the crime.

    When determining a preventive measure, the court is guided by the nature of previously committed unlawful acts and the degree of public danger that they carried.

    The circumstances under which the preventive measure previously appointed by the court did not allow the necessary corrective impact on the citizen are also analyzed.

    The nature of recent crimes that constitute a relapse is also subject to assessment.

    All circumstances of these offenses and the degree of their social danger are also considered.

    There are a number of circumstances that are mitigating under the law.

    They reduce any punishment applied in the case. A similar condition also applies to cases involving recidivism.

    In this case, the term facing the violator may be less than 1/3 of the maximum term of the most severe punishment.

    Mitigating circumstances include, for example, pregnancy, the presence of young children, mental or physical coercion to commit a crime, etc.

    Is it possible to reduce the punishment if the crime is repeated?

    Yes, according to Article 61 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, there are indeed circumstances in which the court, at its discretion, can impose a sentence below the established mandatory minimum - a third of the maximum punishment. This is just a small list of benefits that are not available to every repeat offender.

    They were not specified by law into a specific list of circumstances, and therefore are based on the following factors that the judge will consider:

    1. Motive of the crime;
    2. Purposes of the crime;
    3. The need for self-defense and protection of others (especially loved ones and children);
    4. Behavior of the offender;
    5. Assistance by the criminal to the investigation and trial;
    6. Behavior of a criminal while in a pre-trial detention center.

    However, the court will decide whether the offender is worthy of relief, solely at its discretion and based on all the details of the crime. Often the reasons for relief are: forced to commit crimes (for example, under the threat of other people), the need to protect oneself and loved ones from the illegal actions of other people, active assistance in the investigation, admission of guilt and compensation for damage caused to the victim, etc.

    An example from the judicial practice of the Tula region: a judge commuted the sentence of a repeat offender who stole valuables from the house of a large businessman to pay for the vital treatment of his retired father, who was on a disability group.

    Active assistance to the investigation to mitigate the court sentence

    If the criminal expects that the admission of guilt will serve as a reason for mitigating the punishment, this is not the case. His active cooperation in the investigation is required.

    What can be regarded as active assistance to the investigation:

    1. The fact of establishing the essential details of the case with the help of the perpetrator: Identification of the weapon of the crime;
    2. Finding stolen and stolen valuables;
    3. Surrender of a kidnapped person.
  • Providing the investigator with information about accomplices:
  • Names;
  • Place of work;
  • Disclosure of a criminal scheme or known facts about the criminal activities of accomplices. This is especially true when solving cases involving the activities of organized criminal groups.
  • The main criterion that the judge will pay attention to is the impossibility of determining or finding this information without the help of the defendant.

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