News reports over the past few years have focused on the increasing crime rate throughout the country. While some of these involve major crimes, such as murder and sexual assault, there majority has been a significant increase in robberies, vandalism, solicitation and other types of offenses. In response to citizen concerns, the police departments in most states and across the country are cracking down. With increased rates of arrest and prosecutors well trained in making these charges stick, now more than ever it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
What Are Street Crimes?
The term ‘street crime’ is a loose way of describing any type of illegal act that occurs in a public place, such as in neighborhoods, on city sidewalks, and at parks and other open venues. These types of crimes are often based on opportunity. Though there may be a loose plan in place, they generally rely on catching people off guard and escaping notice from others, particularly security guards or law enforcement.
While street crimes may seem like relatively minor offenses, the fact is they are a serious matter. Under many state criminal law statutes, they could result in either misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances involved. Penalties you could be facing upon a conviction include heavy fines and court costs, payment of restitution to victims, and a potentially lengthy jail sentence. Common types of street crimes include:
- Loitering, trespassing, and disorderly conduct
- Vandalism and destroying public property
- Open container violations and public intoxication
- Petty theft crimes, such as pickpocketing
- Drug possession, sales, and distribution
- Carjacking or breaking and entering
- Armed robbery, involving both threats and weapons
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault and harassment
The complaints of both residents and business owners in cities across the nation have prompted many police departments to take an increasingly aggressive stance in apprehending those involved in committing street crimes. One of the more popular methods law enforcement have begun using again is street crimes units. These units are usually composed of a team of officers and one sergeant.
The focus is on openly patrolling and monitoring problem areas where crimes have often occurred in the past and being more assertive in apprehending and detaining offenders. Where suspects may have once been able to talk their way out of a charge or walk away with a warning, they are now more likely to arrest and criminal charges. Many communities are finding success with these units and arrests have skyrocketed.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a crime, call a law office to set up a confidential consultation with a criminal defense attorney. They will work diligently to make sure your rights are protected and you get the best outcome possible based on the circumstances of your case.