Understanding legal definitions and interperting crime statistics is challenging but it gives us great insights with which to better help our clients. Follow along in this important discussion on numbers and the Language of the Law.
The 2021 Uniform Crime Report, compiled by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to meet state and federal reporting obligations, is a summary of crime data provided by local law enforcement agencies.
Data collected from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) is classified into Group A and Group B. Group A Crimes include the following criminal offenses:
- Crimes against Persons
- Crimes against Property, and
- Crimes against Society
In this article, Crimes against Persons will be covered.
Three Categories of Crimes Against Persons
Perhaps the best way to define crimes against persons is “crimes where a person is a victim, that do not involve property.”
In Crimes against Persons, the level of criminal intent and the extent of the harm produced determine the seriousness of the crime.
Three categories have traditionally been used to classify Crimes against Persons:
When one person kills another, it is called a homicide. Criminal homicide refers to acts of murder and non-negligent manslaughter that are distinguished from deaths brought on by carelessness by the fact that they were committed with intent. Aggravated assaults, not murder, are reported in the case of “attempts to kill.” The overall number of criminal homicides in the state does not include justifiable or excused homicides, suicides, accidental death, or fatalities brought on by negligence.
Homicide Information Summary
Three of the 204 reported homicides in the state in 2021 were justified, leaving a total of 201 criminal homicide victims. In 2021, 125 criminal homicides were averted through arrests or other special measures; 10 of these arrests involved just minors. For the year, 68 negligent homicides were recorded. In 2021, there were 3.5 criminal homicides per 100,000 people.
Of special note is a Minnesota law compelling record keeping on homicides involving unborn victims. This doesn’t fit the FBI’s nation-wide definition of homicide in their Uniform Crime Reporting system. As a result, homicide of an unborn child is recorded under a different, specific heading than is seen in their reports. In 2021, there were 3 murders of unborn children in Minnesota.
2. Sex Offenses
Rape, along with sodomy, sexual assault with an object, fondling, incest, and statutory rape, rape is included in the category of Sex Offenses.
Rape is defined as any sexual act committed against another person without the victim’s consent, including situations in which the victim is unable to give consent.
The FBI’s definition of rape in its Uniform Crime Reporting program includes any penetration, however minor, of any bodily part or object into the vagina or anal orifice, or oral penetration of another person’s sex organ without the victim’s consent.
It comprises the following offenses for this section.
Rape (apart from incest and statutory rape) is the carnal knowledge of a person without the victim’s permission, including in cases where the victim is too young or has a temporary or permanent mental or physical impairment to give consent.
Rape Information Summary
According to the Minnesota BCA, there were 2,472 rape incidents reported in 2021, with 2,463 victims. 2,433 of the recorded offenses were accomplished, while 39 were attempted. There were 600 rapes resolved. In 2021, there were 43.3 rape crimes for every 100,000 people.
3. Non-fatal, non-sexual offenses
Robbery is the most frequently reported non-fatal, non-sexual offense after assault.
A robbery is when something of value is taken from someone else’s custody, care, or control through force, threat of force, or placing the victim in a state of fear of impending death or injury
A carjacking is a robbery in which a vehicle is physically taken.
Robbery Information Summary
According to the Minnesota BCA, there were 4,823 victims in 3,991 reported robbery cases in 2021. 678 robberies were solved by arrest or other special measures, with 267 through the arrest of a minor only.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Jeff Dean
You may count on one of Minnesota’s most seasoned and highly-regarded criminal defense lawyers to fight for you if you’re facing a criminal charge. For many Minnesotans facing criminal accusations, Jeff Dean has secured Not Guilty verdicts, reduced charges, and dismissals.
If you’ve been charged with a crime or accused of committing one, speak to Jeff Dean right away. Call Jeff at (612) 305-4360.