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Violent crime and murders increase nationwide in 2015

If you have been charged with a crime, your defense strategy will depend on the seriousness of the charges. Formulating a strong criminal defense is always advisable regardless of the potential penalties.

Misdemeanors involving non-violent crime generally do not result in the severe consequences that felony violent crimes do. However, statistics show that more people are being charged with and convicted of violent crimes nowadays.

The FBI released a report based on information supplied through the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Violent crime is broken down into murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. In the past, the FBI's numbers have had problems with inaccuracy due to unreliable reporting by law enforcement agencies. The FBI is now improving accuracy by keeping a database of police's use of force.

Violent crime increased almost four percent in 2015 from the previous year. The number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters (not including justifiable killings) reported in 2015 nationwide jumped to 15,696, a 10 percent increase from the year before. This increase appears to be driven by the violence in several large cities.

Virginia State Police's "Crime in Virginia Report" states that murders in Virginia increased 13.4 percent from 2014 to 2015. In 2014, 337 people were killed compared to 382 in 2015. This is higher than that national increase. However, Central Virginia's statistics are more in line with the national increase of 10 percent from 2014 to 2015. Virginia's increase in violent crime in 2015 was only .006 percent.

This increase does not give us reason to panic. Despite the rise in violent crime from 2014 to 2015, the total number of violent crimes is still lower than it was five and 10 years ago.

Source: The Daily Progress, "FBI data show increase in murder, violent crime in 2015," Sep. 26, 2016

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