Compared to other countries, the United States of America has about the same level of crime or even slightly less than most other industrial, Western nations. The caveat? Crime in the USA is much more likely to be lethal, according to a 1997 study that still holds relevance today.
The good news here is that over the last 25 years, violent crime, overall, has taken a sharp drop. From its peak at about 747 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 1993, violent crimes now only affect about half as many people. The same is true for property crime.
However, just because crime has decreased, especially violent crime, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about your safety. Everyone should be cautious; it’s the only way to make sure you aren’t the worst part of these statistics. The best way to start is to be informed. Then you can take steps to keep yourself and your family safe from these common crimes.
The Most Common Crimes in the USA
The following five categories cover the most common crimes in the USA.
Assault and Battery – Assault is best defined as attempting to injure someone else. The definition does vary from state to state, but it may include even the endeavor as a legitimate form of assault. Battery is most often defined as an offensive or injurious intentional touch. In both cases, there is no consent by the victim.
The victim of any assault is a particularly at-risk group. The psychological effects of this type of crime can be the most severe. When and if the case goes to court, it’s vital that they are supported, mainly by an experienced assault defense lawyer.
Theft – Theft, not to be confused with burglary below is when someone takes the property or possessions of another. It doesn’t matter why or if it was unintentional, it’s still considered theft in most cases.
Theft also comes in a multitude of levels. Petty theft can be unintentional or the result of attempting a dine and dash. Grand theft is much more severe and considered a felony. This usually entails something like stealing a significant amount of money or merchandise or something of great value.
Burglary – Burglary is different from theft as a burglar doesn’t have to steal anything. Burglary is the act of breaking into a home, establishment, or any definable place they are not or should not be allowed, with the intent of committing a crime. They may or may not go through with the act, but if they have broken in and had the intention, it’s burglary.
Drug Possession – Drug possession accounts for a vast portion (and typically the highest number) of arrests every year. The severity of this offense varies widely, depending on the state the crime is committed in
Under the umbrella of drug possession is a range of crimes, including constructive possession. This means that while a person may not be physically carrying drugs at the time they are arrested, they are found to have access to illegal drugs in significant quantities after the fact. They could be stashed in their home, car, or a storage locker the person in question has rented, etc.
Driving Under the Influence – One of the top three causes of arrests in the USA every year, driving under the influence or while intoxicated is doing precisely what the name of the crime suggests. Being behind the wheel of any vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous. Over a million people are arrested for it each year in the United States of America alone.