What Is a "Prohibited Acts" Charge?

By Mary Jane Freeman
Selling controlled substances is a prohibited-acts crime in many states.

Kim Steele/Photodisc/Getty Images

The phrase "prohibited acts" is defined in both federal and state law and represents a category of crimes or behaviors a particular jurisdiction has carved out as particularly unacceptable. This is usually illegal activity that endangers a person's life and well-being and destroys communities.

What is Considered a Prohibited Act

Although prohibited acts can differ between jurisdictions, both federal law and many state laws have specifically codified the manufacture and distribution of controlled substances under this category. For example, the federal Controlled Substances Act defines prohibited acts as knowingly and intentionally manufacturing, distributing or dispensing a controlled substance or counterfeit substance, or possessing such a substance with the intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense it. The states of Washington, Louisiana and Pennsylvania also have similarly worded prohibited-acts laws. Therefore, a prohibited-acts charge in these jurisdictions means the offender committed a crime involving controlled substances. However, states are free to categorize other crimes as prohibited acts. For example, in Ohio, a prohibited act includes operating a motor vehicle without a certificate of title.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article