Criminal Law

State Criminal Codes & Statutes

By John McCurley, Attorney
Get access to the laws in your state that define crimes and corresponding punishments.

Every state has laws (also called “statutes”) that define what acts and omissions constitute crimes. States classify crimes by seriousness. These classifications often include felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. State laws also specify the punishments that an offender faces for committing a criminal offense—consequences like fines and jail time.

Most states have a “penal code” that contains crimes and punishments. But many state also have criminal statutes that aren’t in the penal code. For example, in California, most drug crimes can be found in the “Health and Safety Code,” and the majority of driving offenses (including driving under the influence) are in the “Vehicle Code.”

The links below go to sites where you can search through the laws of your state.

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