Lesser Included Offense

Definition - What does Lesser Included Offense mean?

A lesser included offense refers to a situation where a person can be held criminally guilty or civilly liable for a number of different causes of action.

If someone has committed a serious crime, they can also be charged with less serious crimes that share the same elements.

Justipedia explains Lesser Included Offense

A lesser included offense can occur for numerous reasons and under both civil and criminal law. For example, a person who is found guilty of a DWI or a DUI could also be found guilty of reckless driving since the latter contains the same elements as a DWI or a DUI. The only difference in this case would be that reckless driving is a lesser included offense.

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