A compound crime refers to a crime that involves two or more behaviors. The combination of these behaviors, which determine a distinct nature separate from simple or single-behavior crimes, sets apart compound crimes. The multi-behavior nature of a compound crime does not solely rely on the criminality of each behavior but on the presence of these behaviors in the specified order stated by law.
Criminal law and judicial procedures generally adopt a straightforward approach when investigating criminal behavior. With a few exceptions, such as jurisdiction or law enforcement, they do not focus on the substantive differences in criminal behavior. The fundamental characteristic distinguishing compound crimes from other crimes is the longitudinal continuity of two or more behaviors. This means compound crimes are formed when the perpetrator or perpetrators engage in different behavior on two or more occasions. Consequently, the crime is separated from the resulting crime, which is the outcome of the behavior itself and not the behavior alone. However, despite the multi-behavior nature of compound crimes, it is essential to note that this crime is primarily equated with the resulting crime. In some instances, the second or last behavior in a compound crime may be considered the result of the crime, differentiating it from multiple, continuous, and habitual crimes.
The multiplicity of behavior in a compound offense is the primary condition for committing the crime. However, this characteristic also brings it close to multiple crimes. In a compound offense, the individual behaviors do not necessarily constitute separate crimes. Instead, their presence together leads to the commission of a compound crime. On the other hand, in multiple crimes, each behavior is considered a distinct crime, and the multiplicity of the crimes occurs when the perpetrator commits multiple behaviors, with each behavior implying an independent crime. This is the main difference between these two categories. In a continuous crime, a single behavior results in the commission of the crime, even though that behavior must occur over time. Therefore, the singular behavior in a continuous crime sets it apart from compound crimes involving multiple behaviors. In the case of habitual crimes, similar criminal behaviors are repeated. Participation in a compound crime is based on collusion; thus, the collaboration and performance of one of the criminal acts by the partners lead to its occurrence. Legally, all partners do not need to engage in all criminal behaviors. If each partner commits one of the criminal behaviors, participation in the compound offense is established. In this scenario, the role of an accomplice also depends on their cooperation in all behaviors or at least in the first behavior by assisting. Therefore, if the accomplice assists and cooperates with the perpetrator in any of the behaviors of the compound crime, their participation is fulfilled. The accomplice is not legally required to cooperate in all the behaviors. Attempting to commit a compound crime is associated with completing the first behavior. The perpetrator performs the first behavior entirely but is prohibited from engaging in the second or subsequent behaviors due to an involuntary factor. It should be noted that the failure to perform the first act should not be considered an attempt.
This research employs library sources and analyzes judicial opinions using a descriptive and analytical approach. It has concluded that despite compound crimes' distinct nature and characteristics, which differ significantly from simple and single-behavior crimes, they lack a clear legal position and procedure. The suggestion put forth by this article is that categories related to the behavior of crimes, mainly compound crimes, should be regulated through judicial procedures rather than relying solely on legal articles due to the standard challenges involved.