Deviant Behavior Law and Legal Definition

Deviant behavior refers to a behavior that does not conform to social norms and values. A deviant behavior elicits negative response.

Deviant behavior can be formal or informal, and voluntary or involuntary. An involuntary violation of an informal norm is far less offensive than a voluntary violation of a formal norm. Reactions to transgressions against formal norms and values are external to individuals in the form of punitive action, such as fines or imprisonment. Reactions to informal deviance are typically internal to the individual.

Following are examples are case law on deviant behavior;

Evidence of a pattern of deviant behavior is relevant to establish that an offender has had, and will have, serious difficulty controlling his behavior. [Bemboom v. State, 326 S.W.3d 857, 864 (Mo. Ct. App. 2010)

Sexual battery while in a position of familial or custodial authority, provide adequate notice of offender’s deviant sexual behavior. [Ertley v. State, 785 So. 2d 592, 593 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001)].