Sometimes people do things without thinking. Of course, there are some types of crimes people know are wrong. Yes, they may feel justified in committing the crime, but they know they will probably be charged with a crime if they do them.
The most common crimes in America are not violent crimes.
They are property crimes. In addition, the most common misdemeanors – the ones you probably won’t get jail time for – are often for things people do without thinking about it. Here’s the list:
According to the FBI, a property crime is reported every 3 seconds in the United States. A violent crime is reported every 22 seconds. Property crimes are by far the most common. They are about 10 times more common than violent crimes.
- Larceny/Theft – the most common crime in the United States is theft. There are more than 7 million thefts reported each year. This is 60% of all reported crimes.
- Burglary – The second most popular crime is burglary. It is different from larceny or theft in that it often involves entering a building and the intent to commit a crime. Burglary reports are around 2 million each year. That’s 18% of all crimes reported.
- Car Theft – this is a thriving business, unfortunately. More than 1 million cars are stolen in the U.S. every year. This accounts for more than 10% of all reported crimes every year.
- Aggravated Assault – The first violent crime on this list. It’s in the top 5 most common crimes in the U.S. This is an attack with the intent to cause grave injury to another person. It could be assault with a weapon or not, but it accounts for 7% of all reported crimes in this country.
- Robbery – Robbery is different from theft or larceny because it involves violence to someone’s person. A mugging could be robbery, or a liquor-store stick-up. This accounts for 3% of all reported crime.
Most Common Misdemeanors
Here is a category of crimes for which you could almost be charged without realizing you’d done them. I wanted to post these because some people may not know you can be charged with a crime for these behaviors.
- Basic Assault – This is when you hurt someone without intending to injure them. Responding officers often must use their judgment about whether to charge someone with assault. The exception is police officers or public servants – assault of one of these is a felony.
- Indecent Exposure – This has a broad range of interpretation, but could be as innocent as peeing in public
- Public Intoxication – Usually you won’t get charged unless you’re engaging to disorderly behavior while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Trespassing – This is entering restricted property without permission. Usually there will be signs. Your trespassing charge could be the same as a traffic ticket, but punishments vary. Make sure you take note of no trespassing signs.
- Petty Theft – This could encompass many types of crimes, but is usually punished according to the value of what was stolen. In certain states, the value also determines when the crime becomes a felony.
The most common crimes in our country are mostly all non-violent property crimes. If you are facing charges of some of these top most common crimes, it’s important to call a criminal defense attorney. Even if you think it’s not important enough for a lawyer, a misdemeanor can negatively affect your life in many ways.