There is always a lot of talk in the media and from many politicians about skyrocketing crime rates and the necessity to crack down on crime. Politicians who are deemed “soft on crime” stand little chance at winning an election, while those that blow it out of proportion are praised for their courage and boldness to make their communities safe once again. However, crime rates have been dropping drastically over the past decades. Compared to the theft, murder, and other violent crime rates of the 1980s, today’s standards are very good. However, that does not stop the criminal justice system from coming down very hard on innocent people who have been charged with a violent crime or for people who have been charged with drug possession or grand theft. If you have been charged with any type of offense, you need to talk to an attorney today.
Only a Few Crime Categories Rose in 2016
Florida’s crime rate is at a 46-year low, which represents a 4.4 decrease since 2015, according to the Annual Uniform Crime Report. The largest drop in crimes, by type, were larcenies, robberies, and burglaries. Violent crime also dropped by 3.5 percent. However, gun crimes rose from 2015 to 2016 by large proportions. The following are offenses that saw an increase in the last year:
- Murder: 6.5 percent;
- Firearm murder: 10.5 percent;
- Aggravated firearm assault: 2.4 percent;
- Knife or cutting murder: 4.9 percent;
- Domestic violence aggravated stalking: 11.8 percent;
- Domestic violence rape: 1.3 percent;
- Larceny from motor vehicles: 9.5 percent;
- Purse snatching: 6.0 percent;
- Motor vehicle theft: 6.1 percent; and
- Rape: 0.7 percent.
In nearly every other category of violent and nonviolent crime, rates went down. And to help lower the crime rate throughout the future, prevention programs are being added to Florida’s state budget. As reported by the Space Coast Daily, an additional $4.9 billion in public safety was added to the 2017 Florida budget, which will include funding for at-risk youth prevention programs and reentry programs as well. But what does this mean for defendants who have been charged with a violent crime such as the type listed above that increased in prevalence throughout 2016?
State Prosecution Will Continue Strong Persecution of Alleged Criminals
According to Attorney General Pam Bondi, “The continued decline in Florida’s crime rate is a testament to the effective police work performed daily by our brave law enforcement officers and the great work of state prosecutors securing strong sentences for criminals.” It can be expected that the tenacity at which state prosecutors will pursue the harshest of penalties for allegedly violent offenders will continue to increase with each passing year. Due to events such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the Orlando airport and Orlando office building shootings, and other high profile acts of gun violence, prosecutors and juries will not look lightly on anyone who has been charged with firearm homicide.
What can a Lawyer do for Me?
An experienced West Palm Beach lawyer will ensure that you have the strongest possible defense strategy to prove your innocence or to effectively bargain for a fair plea deal. We employ expert witnesses, outside investigators, character witnesses, and DNA testing to give our clients the highest chance of winning their case in court. Call the Skier Law Firm today at (561) 220-3355.