The term renegade Time Lord was an epithet applied by Time Lords against their fellows. At various points, the Doctor was called and thought of himself as a renegade — but he also applied that label to others.
Of the various reasons to call someone a renegade, none was more important than the simple act of physically departing Gallifrey, probably in a stolen — or at least misappropriated — TARDIS, and certainly without the sanction of any Time Lord authority. In this sense, the Seventh Doctor clearly thought of both himself and the Master as "renegades". (PROSE: Doctor Who - The Novel of the Film) There was, in this definition of the word, no connotation of any particular morality, since the Doctor and the Master had generally opposing value systems.
To be labelled a renegade, it was enough to be a Time Lord not resident on Gallifrey.
Indeed, the hard choices involved in actually leaving Gallifrey were, according to the Fifth Doctor, a key distinction between a renegade and a mere "political rebel" still resident on Gallifrey. He felt that Ruath could have been a rebel, but not a renegade. (PROSE: Goth Opera)
However, since Gallifrey had laws against interfering in the natural course of events, and leaving Gallifrey on un-sanctioned voyages typically led to interference, at least some segments of the Time Lord policy thought of renegades as definitionally criminal. For instance, when the Doctor was once accused of being a "dangerous renegade", Flavia instantly snapped to the Doctor's defence and pointed out that he wasn't a criminal. This immediately suggested that the word was commonly used to indicate criminality. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)
Though the Doctor didn't himself feel that interference itself was illegal, (TV: The War Games) he did freely admit to interfering. Indeed, the Eighth Doctor felt that one definition of a renegade was a Time Lord who regularly picked up people on one world and transported them to another. (PROSE: Legacy of the Daleks) This implied that interference was part and parcel of being a renegade. On another occasion the Eighth Doctor was pressed as to why he was a renegade. He simply said, "There are times when a little intervention is necessary." (PROSE: Interference - Book Two)
The legality of interference was debatable and the subject of several appearances in court for the Doctor. Out of his three known Time Lord trials, only one ended in conviction for interference. (TV: The War Games) The Sixth Doctor's trial ended in dismissal, (PROSE: The Ultimate Foe) while the Fifth Doctor escaped for unknown legal reasons, but not before being accused of playing too much cricket and essentially not interfering enough. (COMIC: The Stockbridge Horror) Event the Doctor's one conviction was hardly carried out with conviction. The Celestial Intervention Agency were only too happy to use the convicted Second Doctor to carry out their plans. (PROSE: World Game; TV: The Two Doctors) Even the Third Doctor's so-called "exile on Earth" involved semi-regular contact with Gallifrey. (TV: Terror of the Autons, The Mutants, The Three Doctors)
Thus, violation of the non-interference policy, while a frequent characteristic of the renegade, was simply not prosecuted consistently enough to be the determinative reason someone was labelled a renegade.
On still other occasions, other kinds of criminality engendered the use of the term. For instance, the First Doctor condemned Borusa as a renegade because his former teacher had broken any number of laws in his foolhardy search for immortality. (TV: The Five Doctors)