Criminals are fictional characters who frequently engage in activities that go against the norms of a society or culture, breaking the laws of the land they reside in and in extreme cases even the laws of a sector/empire, while it is possible for some laws to be unjust and rebellion against tyranny. Often requires of breaking the laws, there is often a difference between a criminal and a vigilante (in fiction) : a criminal often seeks self gain while the vigilante breaks the law for the "greater good".

Some criminals can be anarchist or nihilistic in thinking, believing that society is better without law - others can simply be opportunists : the worst criminals can take their activities so far they become Terrorists, seeking to reshape (or even destroy) the world using criminal means.

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