In this study four types of widespread minor criminal conduct (i.e. shoplifting, tax evasion, drunk driving, fare evasion) were explained by means of two theoretical models: one model trying to explain the frequency of deviant behavior (behavior model) and another model explaining the respective behavioral intention (intention model). The theoretical assumptions underlying these two models were logically deduced from different theories of deviance and general theories of action. The two models were tested in a representative national survey, the ALLBUS 1990 (N = 305 1). The results of the study show that both models were successful in explaining the dependent variables. However, the behavior model has more explanatory power than the intention model. According to Max Weber the development of law plays an intrinsic role particularly concerning the emergence of modern civilization and the arrangement of its social forms.