What is Your Crime IQ?

Take this quiz and learn your crime IQ.

Posted May 18, 2013

You’ve probably watched plenty of TV shows and movies about cops and detectives, prosecutors and defense lawyers, and crooks.  Take this quiz and determine your Crime IQ. 


  1. Who runs the jail in your town?
  2. What are the two differences between a misdemeanor and a felony?
  3. You come home and find your house has been broken into.  You call the police and say, “I’ve been robbed!”  Is this true?
  4. Can you be arrested for drunk driving while riding a bicycle, or after landing a small plane, or while operating a boat?
  5. You come out to your car one morning and find a puddle of vomit near the side where your gas tank is.  What happened the night before?
  6. What two things can you legally allow to spill out of your vehicle on to the highway?
  7. An arsonist enters a building and starts a fire.  Later he is arrested for arson and burglary.  Why burglary?
  8. A woman gets a restraining order against her ex-husband.  He calls and asks to meet her at a coffee shop.  She agrees and during the meeting she gets scared and calls the police.  The police arrive and he says,”You can’t arrest me!  She agreed to meet me here!”  What do the police do?
  9. Can someone be arrested for raping a prostitute?  Can a man be arrested for raping his own wife?
  10. Can a drug dealer call the police to report someone has stolen his drugs?
  11. A man takes off his expensive watch and places it on the counter while washing his hands in a restaurant bathroom.  He leaves and returns to his table.  He realizes he forgot his watch and goes back to the bathroom, only to find it is gone.  Did a crime just happen?
  12. Can you be arrested for a crime you commit while inside a jail?
  13. A man is shot outside a bar.  The police arrive and tell him he may not survive his wounds.  He tells them who shot him, just moments before he dies.  There are no other witnesses.  Can the police arrest the man who the dead man named for the murder?

    14, Parole is granted to inmates as a condition of their early release from prison.  Why would someone turn down parole and choose to finish his or her entire sentence, and not want to be released early?

    15. What three exceptions exist where police don’t need to get a search warrant to search someone’s home or car?

    16. Can you be arrested for littering, jaywalking, or spitting on the sidewalk?

    17. Can a man be arrested for intentionally rubbing his private parts, covered by his clothing, against another person on a bus or a subway?

    18. The police know a wanted felon is inside a home.  They knock on the door and say, “Pizza delivery!  We’re giving away free pizzas today!  Come out and get your free pizza!”  When the man opens the door and steps outside to see if there is a pizza, they grab him.  Can they do this?

    19. The police stop a man for a broken tail light.  A records check shows he has a warrant.  They arrest him.  On the way to jail, he demands that they read him his Miranda rights.  They do not ask him any questions about the warrant and refuse to read him his rights.  Why?

    20. A man hangs himself from a beam in his garage.  The police find no ladder or chair nearby, only a puddle of water.  What did he stand on?


1.  Most often it’s the elected Sheriff of your county.

2.  The sentence for a misdemeanor is usually one year or less in County Jail.  The sentence for a felony is usually one year or more in State Prison.  The police cannot arrest someone for a misdemeanor not committed in their presence.  (You can make a citizen’s arrest of someone, which they are required to accept.)  The police can arrest someone for a felony not committed in their presence, if they have probable cause to believe the person committed the crime. 

3.  No.  You’ve been burgled.  The crime of robbery requires that your property or money be taken from you by someone, using force, fear, or a weapon.  If you were not confronted by the thief, it’s a burglary.

4.  Yes. 

5.  Someone tried to siphon gas from your tank, using a tube that they started the flow by sucking on it.  They swallowed some gas, hence the vomit.

6.  Water and chicken feathers.

7.  Besides being arrested for arson, the man is by definition, also a burglar, because he entered the dwelling with the intent to commit a theft and/or a felony.

8.  They arrest him for violation of the restraining order.  She cannot give consent to him to meet with her.  The judge was the one who told him to stay away from her.  She can go back to court and get the order removed, but until then, he is in violation of the order even if she gives consent.

9.  Yes and yes.  No for sex means no, regardless of the person’s chosen occupation or spousal relationship.

10.   He could try, but the police would just laugh and hang up.  They do not respond to crimes involving criminals who had their illegal goods stolen.

11.  No.  It’s lost property, not a crime case.

12. Yes.  You could be arrested for assault, drugs, or theft, or any other related state Penal Code crimes even though you’re already inside a jail.  The sheriff’s deputies arrest you and write their arrest reports.   

13. Yes.  A dying declaration is valid to make the arrest and prosecution, as long as the victim knows he may die prior to making the statement. 

14.  Inmates may choose to decline parole and finish out their entire prison sentences because they do not want to be subject to parole conditions once they are free.  These conditions may include checking in with a parole agent, submitting to drug tests, or waiving their 4th Amendment rights for search without a warrant. 

15.  No.  These are infractions only.  If people get arrested for those behaviors it’s usually because they challenged the cop who wrote them their tickets, the officer lost his or her temper, and arrested them for “interfering with a police officer or a police investigation.”  This is also known as “Contempt of Cop,” and it’s why some officers get a lot of citizen complaints or lose their jobs.

16.  Yes.  This intrusive sexual behavior is a crime called frottage.

17.  They don’t need a search warrant if: the person provides them consent to search the home or car; they see fruits of a crime (bank bags filled with money, illegal drugs) or instrumentalities of a crime (guns, burglar tools) in plain view (where a normal person has the right to be standing and looking around); or under exigent or emergency circumstances, like if they hear screaming behind the front door to a home.

18.  Yes.  Lying or being deceptive to get him to open the door is legal.  Wanted felons shouldn’t open doors in search of free pizzas.

19.  They don’t need to read him his rights because they don’t plan to question him and they don’t care what his warrant is for.  The Miranda duty is a two-pronged test: Is the person in custody? Do the police plan to use what he says in court against him?  In this case it’s yes and no.      

20.  A big block of ice. 

Dr. Steve Albrecht, PHR, CPP, BCC, is a San Diego-based speaker, author, and trainer.  He is board certified in HR, security, and coaching.  He focuses on high-risk employee issues, threat assessment, and school and workplace violence prevention.  In 1994, he co-wrote Ticking Bombs, one of the first business books on workplace violence.  He holds a doctorate in Business Administration (DBA); an M.A. in Security Management; a B.S. in Psychology; and a B.A. in English.  He worked for the San Diego Police Department for 15 years and has written 16 books on business, HR, and criminal justice subjects.  He can be reached at drsteve@drstevealbrecht.com or on Twitter @DrSteveAlbrecht