What are the Most Common Criminal Charges?
Laws in each country define crimes and the subsequent range of punishments that are awarded in case of proven guilty. When a government official files a claim that a particular person has committed a crime, a criminal charge is said to have been pressed against that individual. Crimes can typically be categorized in the following buckets:
- Violent crimes
- White collar crimes
- Property crimes
- Organized crimes
- Victimless crime (also known as consensual crime)
Let us quickly take a look at the most common kind of crimes that typically appear on the US crime charts almost every year:1. Theft/ Larceny – The numbers entering in this bucket almost contributes to 60% of the total crime rate each year. There are further two kinds of theft categories which the officials use to understand the nature of crime:
Petty theft – When the misdemeanor results in a loss of $950 or less, the same falls under this category. If proven guilty, the person is usually awarded a 6-month punishment and/or a fine of $1000.
Grand theft – When the misdemeanor results in a loss of more than $950, the same falls under this category. If proven guilty, the person can be charged with a 3-year punishment and a fine of $1000.
Other kinds of theft include shoplifting, robbery, embezzlement and fraud which have the same basic identification factors yet they are different in terms of the punishment awarded.
Monetary fines can be levied on the person causing vandalism which may go up to $25,000.
Restitution money. Besides the fines imposed, sometimes the state may award restitution money to be paid to the property owner to repair the damages.
3. Disorderly Conduct – Also known as breach of the peace is said to have taken place when a person creates disturbances in public areas. Loitering, picking up a fight in a public place, public drunkenness or any behavior that is a threat to public safety is construed as disorderly conduct.
All by itself, disorderly conduct may not attract serious penalties however, when coupled with other offenses such as causing an injury or actions taken after consuming alcohol may attract higher penalties.
4. Offenses/ Crimes occurring after consuming alcohol – Many crimes are conducted when the person is under the influence of alcohol. While many of these are dealt with individually, there are four offenses which are categorically considered as ‘alcohol-related’. These include: Driving under the Influence and Public intoxication. It is illegal to consume alcohol and exhibit behavior which threatens public safety and disturbs others.
Open container law. Drinking in open spaces such as a car or a public place is prohibited under these guidelines.
5. Bullying – Bullying or cyberbullying is a crime irrespective where it occurs (even in school premises). Below is a glimpse of common criminal actions associated with bullying: Threatening someone of violence with:
- Death threats
- Gender or racial harassment
- Physical assault
- Unpleasant physical disagreements between parents and children
Any person who faces criminal charges has the following options (rights) which he may choose to appropriately exercise in order to ensure that proper action is taken.
- Right to remain silent
- Habeas Corpus
- Right to request for an attorney
Additional Common Criminal ChargesAiding and Abetting
A crime in which a person "aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures" the commission of a crime.
A crime in which an individual burns a structure, building, land, or property.
A crime that results in harm, the potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child, as a result of an act or failure to act for the protection of a child.
Credit Card Fraud
A crime in which an individual uses a credit card in an illegal manner to obtain merchandise, funds from an account, or services without paying for them.
A crime in which a member of a household bodily harm upon another member of the said household.
A crime in which an individual operated a motorized vehicle while being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A crime in which an individual uses misrepresentation or deception for a personal financial gain.
Such crimes are defined as "all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain."
A crime in which an individual forces sexual contact with another individual without their consent.
A crime in which an adult individual has sex with another individual who is under the age of consent (age of consent varies from state to state).
A crime in which an individual takes deliberate actions to conceal or misrepresent a person's or business's profits, income, or financial gains to inflate or falsify tax deductions.