People often turn on the radio or television news only to hear stories about murders, kidnappings, or elaborate white collar crimes and think that this popular representation in the media means that these crimes are the most prevalent in the U.S. But in actuality, such crimes are really not all that common; they simply attract the most attention due to their severity. The most common crimes in America are often much less newsworthy.
Simple cases of larceny and theft make up the bulk of the crimes that are reported to police within the United States. These offenses can range from stealing items of value as little as $5-$100 dollars to higher-priced items valued all the way up to several thousands of dollars. While high-profile thefts may make the news, its usually the smaller crimes that make up the bulk of work for criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors.
Burglary is another common crime in America. Many often confuse theft with burglary, thinking that they are the same thing. Theft is the taking of an item of value without another’s permission, while burglary describes the unlawful entrance into another’s home or onto his or her property with the intent of committing a crime. The intended crime does not need to take place, however, for one to be charged with burglary.
Aggravated assault also ranks among the most-reported crimes in the U.S. Assault by itself is defined as a physical attack of varying degrees. It is considered to be an aggravated assault when there are aggravating factors that seemingly make the assault worse. For example, assaulting a neighbor or coworker while brandishing a weapon or during the commission of another crime might qualify as aggravated assault.
While the most common crimes may not get as much media coverage as other crimes, that doesn’t mean that a person charged with one of them should not consider his or her situation to be serious. A criminal conviction of any kind can have a dramatic impact on one’s reputation, career, and personal relationships. Thus, fighting for the most favorable outcome for the accused’s case (even if that doesn’t mean an acquittal) is always recommended.