Violent Crime Up 26% in Los Angeles
In an article published by the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, the LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says violent crime is up 26% and property crimes up 11% in Los Angeles this year. He says crime levels this year are comparable to those in 2012. The increases in crime cut across all of LAPD’s four bureaus with the largest jumps in the Central Bureau and the smallest in the Valley Bureau. Overall, serious crime has climbed 14% in 2015.
The surge in recorded crime is driven in part by a spike in aggravated assaults. The jump in aggravated assaults began in 2014 and continues into 2015. Beck attributes the rise in violent crime to how LAPD classifies those crimes, an increase in domestic violence and alcohol-fueled street attacks. The change in classification came after a Times investigation last year that found the department significantly understated the city’s true level of crime when it misclassified nearly 1,200 serious violent crimes as low-level offenses.
Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas says the increase is not just due to aggravated assaults, but also attributable to robberies in Los Angeles. 2014 was the first year since 2003 that violent crime rose in L.A, rising 14%.
According to a report by the California Department of Justice, crimes classified as “violent crimes” include homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. However, there are various crimes in California that include some type of violence on some level. Charges for these crimes can range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the severity of the offense and the injury suffered by a victim to the offense. These other offenses include arson, assault or battery, carjacking, criminal threats, domestic violence, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and stalking.
To illustrate one of the various violent crimes, here is a more detailed look at the crime of rape. Defined by the California Penal Code, rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator, under various statutory circumstances. One of these circumstances is where the sexual intercourse is accomplished against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another.
Rape is a felony, however depending on the age of the perpetrator and the age of the victim, the penalties for rape vary. Rape, like various other violent crimes requires an element of force or violence. Another example is the crime of arson.
According to the Penal Code, a person is guilty of arson when he or she willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned or who aids, counsels or procures the burning of any structure or property. Arson that causes great bodily injury is a felony. It is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 5, 7, or 9 years.
Arson that causes an inhabited structure or property to burn is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 3, 5 or 8 years.
If you have been charged with a violent crime in the Los Angeles area, you are likely facing jail time. You want an attorney who understands the law and will advocate for you in your defense. The Rodriguez Law Group can help. Call our office today to discuss your case.