While violent crime in the United States steadily declined over the past 20 years, the country still experiences a comparatively high rate of crime when looking at other first-world countries. But what is the makeup of these crime statistics?
Between assault, murder, rape, homicides, armed robberies, and more, there were about 1.15 million violent crimes reported by law enforcement in the United States in 2014. Among these, over 63% were aggravated assaults and another 28% were robberies. The good news here is that it means that the worst of the worst — murder and rape — are relatively small when compared to other violent crimes. The bad news is that there are all of these violent crimes.
While violent crimes are certainly the most reported-on crime, they’re far from the most common. Over 11 million arrests were made in 2014 and less than half of one million were for those violent crimes. Property crime arrests were over three times as common, as were drug abuse violations. Property crimes, which count things like burglaries, car-thefts, and larceny, totaled over 1.5 million arrests in 2014, but more shocking is that there were an estimated 8.3 million of these crimes reported by law enforcement nationwide.
Beyond assaults, murders, and thefts, perhaps the most prevalent crime in the United States is DUI/DWI (driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated). More than one million arrests in 2014 were for DWI. However, it has been estimated that the average drunk driver has driven while impaired well over 50 times before getting caught. Drunk driving accidents account for 28 deaths in the United States every day, or an average of one person every 53 minutes. It is a staggering, huge problem.
Defending yourself from these problems is an important safety precaution, but defending yourself once you have these problems of your own is another. Criminal defense attorneys are just what they sound like: They defend someone who has been arrested for a crime. If you were wrongly accused or feel that you were treated fairly, these are the people you should contact. Various degrees of crime exist and certain attorneys may only deal with certain crimes: Lawyers who defend drug possession, traffic violations, or petty theft may not defend those who’ve committed assault.
In any case, your best bet is to be smart. Be aware of your surroundings, look out for the other person, and do not, under any circumstances, get behind the wheel of a car if you’ve been drinking alcohol.