A person who has repeatedly committed crimes and been caught. Many places have this designation and when a person is labeled a habitual criminal punishment is usually harsher because the person is deemed beyond help.

In the U.S. many states have laws stating when a person is considered a habitual criminal and how their punishment should be adjusted. Some states have a 3 strikes rule and others it is a half dozen offenses. Both the definition and the punishment vary from state to state.

From one web page I found: The treatment of habitual criminals is harsher than for those who have committed only one or two crimes. The court may decide that lesser punishments haven’t worked in the past and may need to be increased to impress upon the convicted that they must stop violating the law. In some states, the three strikes and you’re out law has been passed which mandates longer sentencing for repeat offenders. If you are convicted of a third felony, you may face up to a life in prison depending upon your local law. This could be imposed for a relatively minor felony conviction. In a majority of felony cases, a plea bargain is struck - that is no longer the case.

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