Malum Prohibitum

Definition - What does Malum Prohibitum mean?

Malum prohibitum is a Latin term that means "wrong because prohibited."

In the context of the law, it refers to violations of the law that are not inherently immoral, but are only against the law due to certain statutes. For example, driving above the speed limit would be an example of a legal violation that is malum prohibitum.

Justipedia explains Malum Prohibitum

Violations that are classified as malum prohibitum are distinguished from other types of violations that are obviously against society's standards of morality. Rape, murder, armed robbery and arson would be examples of violations of the law that are not malum prohibitum.

Punishments for breaking laws that are malum prohibitum are often significantly less severe than punishments that are not. For example, a person who drives over the speeding limit may simply get a speeding ticket.

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