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Phoenix Sees Increase in Violent Crime

Phoenix police are concerned about a recent uptick in the levels of violent crime, according to reports. Since January 2015, violent crime has risen by nearly eight percent. Phoenix police have begun concentrated recruiting efforts in order to hire an addition 60 officers this year, as more officers are also expected to retire. In fact, given the number of officers known to be retiring by the end of the year, hiring 60 new officers will not even maintain the current level of patrol, leading some experts to worry that Phoenix will see an even larger increase in violent crime this year.

What Is “Violent Crime”?

Crimes are usually categorized by whether they cause injury or the threat of injury to another person or are against property only. For example, armed robbery, even if no one is hurt, is considered a violent crime, while burglary is considered non-violent. Classes of violent crimes include:

  • The most heinous crimes include the taking of another human life. Murder is often broken down into different types of charges based on the intent of the perpetrator. For example, manslaughter, which results in the taking of a human life, is not punished in the same way as willful murder.
  • Sexual assault, including rape, is a crime against the victim that can leave lasting scars, both physical and psychological. Rape can be difficult to prosecute in some cases, however, as the proof may rely on victim testimony rather than simple physical evidence.
  • Assault and battery. Assault refers to the creation of a threat to do bodily harm, while battery refers to the bodily harm itself. Any attempt to harm another person by hitting, punching, kicking or striking with an object can be prosecuted as a violent crime, even if the victim did not suffer serious physical trauma. In this case, the intent rather than the outcome is the focus of the prosecution.
  • Physical abuse can also be prosecuted as a felony, particularly when the victim is a child. Abuse is sometimes difficult to prosecute, however, as many family members are not willing to testify against each other when abuse occurs in the home.

If you have been accused of a violent crime, you may be facing serious consequences upon conviction, including long jail sentences and heavy fines. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Oswalt Law Group in Phoenix today for help.

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