In this blog post we look at when to use illegal and when to use unlawful.
"Illegal" and "unlawful" are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings.
"Illegal" refers to something that is prohibited or not allowed by law.
This can include actions such as theft, drug trafficking or breaking immigration laws. Illegal activities are considered criminal and punishable by the state through fines, imprisonment or both.
On the other hand, "unlawful" refers to something that is not in accordance with the law, or not authorized by law.
It can refer to actions that are not specifically prohibited by law, but are still considered to be in violation of the law.
For example, if a person is protesting in a public place and starts to cause damage to property or disturb the peace, the protest would be considered unlawful.
Unlawful activities may be considered civil wrongs, it can be punishable by fines, penalties or other forms of remedy.
In summary, illegal refers to a criminal act while unlawful refers to a civil wrong, illegal activities are considered more severe and punishable by imprisonment or fines, while unlawful activities may be considered less severe and may be punishable by fines or other penalties.
Here are some examples to illustrate the difference between “illegal” and “unlawful”:
"It is illegal to sell drugs" - This sentence refers to the fact that selling drugs is a criminal act that is prohibited by law, and is punishable by imprisonment or fines.
"It is unlawful to discriminate against someone based on their race" - This sentence refers to the fact that discrimination based on race is not specifically prohibited by law, but it goes against the principles of equal rights and is considered a violation of the law. This can be punishable by fines or other penalties.
"It is illegal to drive without a valid driver's license" - This sentence refers to the fact that driving without a valid driver's license is a criminal act that is prohibited by law, and is punishable by fines or imprisonment.
"It is unlawful to start a fire in the forest without a permit" - This sentence refers to the fact that starting a fire in the forest without a permit is not specifically prohibited by law, but it goes against the principles of public safety and is considered a violation of the law. This can be punishable by fines or other penalties.
It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol.
Illegal immigration is a serious issue in many countries.
Possession of illegal drugs can result in a prison sentence.
The company was found guilty of engaging in illegal business practices.
Illegal logging is causing significant damage to the environment.
He was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm.
The government has implemented strict laws to combat illegal fishing.
The company was fined for illegal dumping of toxic waste.
The protest was declared illegal by the authorities.
The sale of illegal cigarettes is a major problem in the city.
The company was accused of unlawfully obtaining personal data.
The police arrested several individuals for unlawful protest.
Unlawful detention of political prisoners is a serious human rights violation.
The company was found guilty of engaging in unlawful business practices.
Unlawful entry into someone's property is considered trespassing.
The police arrested him for unlawful assembly.
The government has implemented strict laws to combat unlawful fishing.
It is unlawful to use someone else's intellectual property without permission.
The company was fined for unlawfully disposing of hazardous waste.
The court ruled that the termination of employment was unlawful.