September 13, 2017 By Wallin & Klarich

The California Department of Justice recently released its annual report on crimes. For the year 2016, several notable trends were spotted. Here is a look at some of the important statistics in the report.

Violent Crime Increased for the Second Year In a Row

In 2016, violent crimes, including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, increased by 4.1 percent compared to 2015. There were 8,113 more violent crimes committed in 2016 than the previous year. This is the second year in a row in which violent crimes have increased.

Among these crimes, the largest increase was in the amount of rapes reported, which increased by 6.4 percent. Statewide, there were 1,930 homicides, 13,695 rapes, 54,769 robberies and 104,307 aggravated assaults. This means that for every 100,000 people, there were approximately 5 murders, 35 rapes, 139 robberies and 265 aggravated assaults.

Property Crimes Trending Downward

As measured by the statistics on the crimes of burglary, car theft and larceny, the amount of property crimes dropped overall by 2.9 percent. However, car theft incidents increased from 2015. For every 100,000 cars on the road, there were nearly 450 automobiles stolen last year, for a total of 176,676 auto thefts in 2016.

Two Thirds of Felony Arrests Resulted in Convictions

In 2016, 207,022 adults were arrested for a felony. Of them, 137,415 were ultimately convicted. This means that a person arrested for a felony in California had a 66.4 percent chance of being convicted of at least one felony crime.

In terms of sentencing, probation with jail time was the most common penalty assessed by the courts. These types of sentences accounted for 37.8 percent of all felony sentences imposed in the state last year.

Juvenile arrests for both felonies and misdemeanors have dropped significantly in the six years since the state has produced crime stats. Reports show that since 2011, juvenile arrests are down 57.6 percent, with a 15.3 percent decrease in 2016.

The Ones That Got Away

Clearance rates are slightly lower than they were in 2015. A crime is considered “cleared” when police or sheriffs arrest at least one person for a crime and that person is eventually charged. Overall, this rate is 2.6 percent lower than the previous year.

Use-of-Force Incidents Involving Peace Officers

This year’s report is the first since the state legislature mandated the inclusion of statistics about incidents in which an encounter between a person and law enforcement personnel resulted in bodily injury or death. Because this report is the first to report these statistics, there is no data available to show whether the rates of violence between citizens and law enforcement have increased or decreased.

However, the report shows that there were 782 of these incidents in 2016. Among those, 328 involved the discharge of one or more firearms. In those cases, when an officer used his or her firearm against a citizen, 75 percent of the shots fired hit their intended target. In the cases in which a citizen used a firearm against an officer, the accuracy dropped to 10 percent.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

The crime report is a reflection of the state of criminal justice in California, but it is not the whole picture. If you have been charged with a crime, there is only one conviction that matters: yours. At Wallin & Klarich, our firm has over 35 years successfully defending our clients against serious criminal charges. Our lawyers will use every valid legal defense possible to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

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