Violent crime in Ohio is a significant concern for the state’s citizens. By watching the news, it is easy to feel as if crime is increasing across the country and if nothing is being done. However, Ohio’s Office of Criminal Justice Services recently released information regarding violent crime during the first and second quarters of 2016 compared to the same time periods in 2015. Overall, violent crimes decreased during the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of the year before.
As welcome as this news is, it does not change the fact that the police often accuse and arrest the wrong individuals for these violent crimes, which include murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. Law enforcement officers are not infallible. If you have been arrested for a violent crime, call a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Brad Groene of Luftman, Heck & Associates can build you the strongest defense possible under the law.
Ohio Violent Crime Statistics
In the first quarter of 2016, there were 2,545 violent crimes in Ohio. In the second quarter, there were 2,851 violent crimes. In total, there was a significant decrease of about 15 percent in violent crimes in the first six months of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015.
Robberies, aggravated assault, forcible rape, and murder were all lower in the second quarter of 2016 compared to during the second quarter in 2015. Robberies decreased from 1,305 to 1,139. Aggravated assaults fell from 1,636 to 1,292. Forcible rates were calculated at 362 compared to 411, and murders dropped from 67 to 58.
This is part of a larger trend. Ohio’s violent crime rate has been slowly falling for the past few years.
Cincinnati Violent Crimes
Citizens of Cincinnati have equally good news from these reports. In Cincinnati specifically, robberies decreased by 6.3 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the second quarter of 2015. Aggravated assaults fell by 15.1 percent, forcible rapes were down 3 percent, and murder dropped significantly at 34.6 percent between the same time periods.
Defining Violent Crimes
The Office of Criminal Justice Services looks at murder, aggravated assault, forcible rape, and robbery when it calculates violent crimes throughout the state. These crimes are defined as:
- Murder – There are various types of murder within the state of Ohio, however, they all include the willful taking of another person’s life or a death resulting from an individual committing or attempting to commit a felony. Murder is often charged as a second or first-degree felony.
- Aggravated Assault – A person commits an aggravated assault when, under the influence of a sudden passion or fit of rage brought on by a serious provocation caused by the victim that is reasonably sufficient to incite the person to use force, causes serious physical harm or attempts to cause serious physical harm to another person or a person’s unborn child, with or without a deadly weapon. This crime is charged as a fourth-degree felony if there are no other mitigating factors.
- Forcible Rape – Rape includes an individual engaging in sexual conduct with another without that person’s consent, by impairing the person’s judgment or control with drugs or alcohol, by force or threat or force, or through deception. Rape is a first-degree felony.
- Robbery – When a person attempts or commits a theft with a deadly weapon upon their person, or inflicts, threatens to inflict or tries to inflict physical harm on another, or threatens or uses immediate force against another. This is a second or third-degree felony.
Violent Crimes in Ohio Lead to Felony Convictions
If you are accused of a violent crime in Ohio, you must take this seriously and work with an experienced attorney to build your defense. A third-degree felony can result in imprisonment from one to five years in prison. A second-degree felony is punished with two to eight years in prison, and a first-degree felony results in a minimum of three years in prison up to 11 years. More serious violent crimes, like sexual offenses against children, can result in decades-long or life prison sentences. Additionally, if you have one or more violent crimes on your record, you could be labeled a repeat offender and punished with a sentence enhancement.
Contact a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help
If you have been charged with one of these or another violent crime in Ohio, call Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brad Groene at Luftman, Heck & Associates as soon as possible. The faster you are in contact with an attorney, the sooner you ensure your rights are protected and your defense strategy is in place.