Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished former student, visits an old pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna, and hatches a plan to murder and rob her. He meets a drunk named Marmeladov in a bar, who tells of his poor life and his prostitute daughter, Sonya. From a letter from his mother, he learns that his sister Dunya, once a maid working for the Svidrigailov family, was harassed by her employer and engaged to a government official named Luzhin.
One day, he eavesdrops in conservation from the old pawnbroker's sister, Lizaveta, revealing revealed she will leave the apartment. He goes through with his plan. He kills the pawnbroker, attempts to rob her, and kills Lizaveta when she walks unexpectedly into the room. He somehow flees the murder scene after attracting noises .
After the murders, Raskolnikov goes through numerous mental breakdowns, including a faint in the police station, after hearing a mention of the murders. He meets up with his old friend, Razumikhin, who takes care of him. Luzhin visits Raskolnikov during his sick day. After a heated argument, Raskolnikov vows him that he'll never marry his sister. He later finds Marmeladov crushed under the wheels of a wagon and gives money to his family.
Dunya and her mother arrive at Raskolnikov's garret in St. Petersburg, who feels that he might be unstable. Porify, the detective for the murders, tricks Raskolnikov into confessing that he was there during the murders. Svidrigailov arrives and claims that he loves Dunya truly. Luzhin meets up with the family for dinner, but after many insults, Dunya calls off the marriage. Later, Porify tells Raskolnikov that the murderer is one of the painter and that he confessed to it.
Luzhin attends Marmeladov’s funeral and announces that Sonya has stolen 100 roubles from him. After finding out that he planted it, he is kicked out. This causes Sonya's landlord to kick their family out of their apartment. At the same, Katerina Ivanova, the mother, falls ill and dies. Raskolnikov visits Sonya and confesses to her about the murders Svidrigailov has heard Raskolnikov’s confession through the wall from Sonya’s apartment and uses for blackmail. Porify tells Raskolnikov that he knows that he is the murderer and askes him to confess.
'Dunya meets with Svidrigailov, who attempts to rape her. She pulls out a gun and shoots Svidrigailov, narrowly missing. She leaves and Svidrigailov later kills himself out of despair. Raskolnikov confesses to Dunya, who tells him to accept his punishment. He surrenders. In the epilogue, he is sentenced to 8 years in Siberia, while Sonya has moved there as well. Razumikhin marries Dunya. Raskolnikov realizes and accepts his judgement and that Sonya's love for him is true .