What Are the 5 Most Common Criminal Charges?
A criminal defense lawyer sees many different clients facing a variety of criminal charges. Each charge and the laws regarding it are different, making it complex to navigate. Criminal lawyers have the ability to interpret the law and determine the best defense for a client facing criminal charges.
Among the common criminal charges defense lawyers and their clients face, there are 5 that make up the majority of cases in the United States.
- Property Crimes. The vast majority of crimes committed in the United States are non-violent property crimes. These include:
- Theft. This refers to stealing or taking away someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. It includes shoplifting, pickpocketing, taking art from a museum, stealing electronics, and any other situation where one person takes something that belongs to someone else.
- Robbery. A Robbery is a theft plus the use of force, or the threat of the use of force, in commission of flight from a theft.
- Burglary. Otherwise known as breaking and entering, burglary involves forcibly entering a home or business with the intention of stealing property or committing any other felony.
- Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV). What other states might call “Grand Theft Auto.” Texas Counties rarely charge people for auto theft because then they’d have to prove the value of the property and that they we’re not just borrowing the car. Instead, they charge people with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV) meaning all they have to prove is that someone intentionally operated the motor vehicle (cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, boats, planes, trains, ATVs, etc) without the effective consent of the owner.
- Arson. Purposely or deliberately setting fire to property not belonging to the individual, or setting fire to one’s own home or property in order to collect insurance.
- Crimes Related to Alcohol. There are a few different alcohol related crimes that a person can be charged with, such as:
- DWI. Driving while intoxicated is one of the most common alcohol-related crimes. In Texas it means the loss of use of your normal mental or physical faculties by way of introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug into one’s body.
- Public Intoxication. Otherwise known as “drunk in public”, this refers to consuming enough alcohol for a law enforcement officer to claim that you’re a danger to yourself or others.
- TABC Violations. This refers to the handling and selling of liquor, things handled by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Common liquor law/TABC violations include selling or serving alcohol to a minor, illegal manufacturing of alcohol, and illegal transport of alcohol.
- Controlled Substances (Drug Crimes). Crimes related to the use and abuse of legal and illegal substances (such as narcotics or marijuana concentrates, thc vape pens, or edibles) are considered controlled substances. This can include possession of drugs, or manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance or dangerous drug.
- Violent Crimes. When physical harm is threatened or done to a victim, a crime is considered to be violent. Violent crimes include robbery, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, and rape.
- Fraud. Fraud is defined as the intentional use of deceit, a trick, or some dishonest means to deprive another of his/her/its money, property or a legal right. Insurance fraud is one example, where a person purposely destroys property in order to collect insurance money. Other examples of fraud include identity theft, inheritance scams, and business fraud.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
If you are facing criminal charges, you have the right to an attorney. As your Miranda Rights clearly state, if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. However, there is a difference between hiring your own private lawyer and accepting any public defender the court system assigns you. Many people prefer having a relationship with a lawyer who is paid for their time and is motivated by competition and market forces to earn your business and goodwill, as one can expect with a private criminal defense lawyer.
Facing Criminal Charges? You Need Jason Katims, Attorney at Law on Your Side
Being accused of a crime can be a scary experience, as the consequences of a conviction can be serious. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through this difficult time. Jason Katims, Attorney at Law, knows how to navigate the law and the court system, negotiate with the prosecutor, handle witnesses, and even take the case to trial if necessary, all while remaining calm and professional. You don’t have to face this alone or accept a court appointed lawyer. Make the best choice for your future and call Jason Katims.