Four Violent Crimes Defined by the FBI
Violent crimes are not as common as Hollywood likes to portray them to be, but they do occur frequently enough to raise concern in the United States, as well as in the state of New Mexico. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducts studies each year to determine how frequently certain crimes occur, and their severity. The Bureau recently released the 2015 study findings regarding violent crimes.
What is a Violent Crime?
Not all crimes are compared directly to another, and state laws will determine what is actually a violent crime. But, in the FBI’s study, they do compare offenses to similar offenses. For example, all property crimes are quantified together, while “violent” offenses are put into their own category.
Under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), they have four categories of violent crimes:
- Murder (homicide under non-negligent terms)
- Aggravated assault
All violent crimes, according to the FBI, are those that involve force, or even the threat of force, against the victim.
What the 2014 Statistics Reflect
In 2014, the FBI noted that there was a decline in violent property crimes across the country. In fact, the estimated decline was 4.3 percent, compared to 2013. Some highlights found in their 2014 analysis include:
- A total estimated number of 1,165,383 violent crimes committed in the United States.
- Aggravated assaults amounted to 63.6 percent of the violent crimes reported in 2014, while robberies accounted for 28 percent, rape was 7.2 percent, and murder at 1.2 percent.
- There was an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes reported in 2014, and the financial losses associated with those robberies was estimated to be $14.3 billion.
- The highest number of arrests in 2014 was for drug abuse violations, with larceny and theft following closely behind.
- Police made over 11 million arrests in 2014, with more than 73 percent of those arrested being male in 2014.
Non-Violent versus Violent Crimes
Non-violent crimes are often confused for violence crimes. In general, a non-violent crime is one that does not use force or threatened force of injury. Typically, these crimes are measured by their economic losses and are classified (typically) as property crimes.
Violent crimes are offenses that involve bodily injury, or at least the threat of bodily injury, to the victim. A weapon does not have to be used, but if a weapon is present, it will increase the seriousness of the charges against the offender.
There are crimes that are classified as “violent,” even when the victim is not injured. As long as there is the threat of bodily injury to the victim, it could be classified as a violent offense. Also, the characteristics of the victim could later increase the charge’s seriousness. For example, if the victim is a child or police officer who is being threatened with bodily harm, the seriousness of the charge will increase.
Arrested for a Violent Offense? Contact a New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested or are being questioned for a violent crime, it is imperative that you speak to a criminal defense attorney. Violent crimes are charged as felonies, and often include serious prison time, fines, and long-term consequences. If convicted, you could spend several years in prison and the conviction itself could affect your ability to get a job, housing, or even apply for special programs.
To avoid the serious consequences of a conviction, contact the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today. Schedule a no-obligation consultation by calling 505-375-4661, or fill out our online contact form with your questions.