"a transgression or offense," in civil law, a misdemeanor, 1520s, from Latin delictum "fault, offense, crime," neuter singular of past participle of delinquere "to fail; be wanting, fall short; offend," from de- "completely" (see de-) + linquere "to leave" (from PIE root *leikw- "to leave"). Related: Delictable "criminal, wicked," early 15c. Phrase in flagrant delict translates Latin in flagrante delicto.
Delicts are commonly understood as slighter offenses which do not immediately affect the public peace, but which imply an obligation on the part of the offender to make an atonement to the public by suffering punishment, and also to make reparation for the injury committed The term delinquency has the same signification. [Century Dictionary]