Parental criminal behaviour exerts a substantial impact on offspring criminal behaviour. Unfortunately however, the explanation for the intergenerational transmission of crime remains unclear. To compare and contrast two possible explanations, we address the question of whether the timing of a father’s criminal acts predicts the likelihood that his children commit crime. According to static theories, the total number of criminal acts rather than the exact timing influences the likelihood of offspring criminal behaviour. According to dynamic theories, timing is crucial and children are more likely to engage in criminal behaviour after fathers have committed criminal acts. Results show that the total number of delinquent acts is an important predictor, and also that the exact timing plays an important role. In the year the father has been convicted, the likelihood that the child commits crime increases substantially and decays in the following years at a slower rate the more crimes the father has committed. Our results show that the rigorous assumptions of static theories require nuancing.