Violent Crime Incidences Decreasing Throughout Ohio, FBI reports

Ohio reported more than 30,000 incidents of violent crime in 2013, but according to a recent report from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, The Buckeye State still had a decrease in violent offenses compared to the previous year.

The FBI's annual report released late last year shows Ohio's violent crime rate in 2013 dropped more than 8 percent from the previous year, according to Cleveland.com. The state reported nearly 32,000 violent crime incidents, compared to the nearly 35,000 from the previous year.

Violent crime in this report is composed of four offenses:  murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. These offenses are considered some of the most heinous crimes in Ohio, and they carry some of the harshest penalties.

The state recorded 455 cases of murder and non-negligent manslaughter in 2013, according to the FBI report.  Murder, an unclassified felony, is one of the most heavily penalized crimes in Ohio, carrying a prison sentence of up to life in prison, a fine of up to $25,000 or both.

A person can be charged with murder if he or she causes the death of another person on purpose or intentionally, or if he or she causes the death of another person during the commission of a felony of the second or first degree.

For example, if a person deliberately and fatally shoots another with the intent to kill him or her, the shooter would face murder charges. Additionally, if a person fatally shoots someone while in the process of kidnapping, which is a first-degree felony, he or she also could face murder charges.

Ohio reported more than 6,800 incidences of rape last year, according to the FBI report.  A person can be charged with rape in Ohio if he or she engages in sexual conduct with another person when the offender purposely makes the other person submit by force or threat of force, according to Ohio Revised Code § 2907.02.

Rape charges also could apply if a person engages in sexual conduct with someone who is not a spouse, or is a spouse but lives separately, and:

  • The other person is younger than 13 years old
  • He or she substantially impairs that person's judgment or control  to prevent resistance through the use of drugs, controlled substances or intoxicant by force, threat of force or deception
  • The alleged offender knows or has reason to believe the other person's ability to resist or consent is impaired by mental or physical condition, such as being intoxicated, or advanced age

Additionally, life in prison is a penalty a person could face if he or she is charged with rape, a first-degree felony, if the victim is younger than 10 years old. If the victim is compelled through force, threat or a controlled substance, the offender would not face less than 5 years in prison.

Robbery can be a felony of the first, second or third degree, according to Ohio Revised Code § 2911.02. The state reported more than 14,000 incidences in 2013. If a person commits a theft and has a deadly weapon, causes or threatens harm or uses force against someone during the crime, the charge could be upgraded to robbery.

The state also reported more than 14,000 aggravated assault crimes for 2013. Aggravated assault is a less serious violent crime, although it still is a felony offense. A person can be charged with the crime if he or she causes or attempts to cause harm to another person, with or without a weapon, according to Ohio Revised Code § 2903.12.

Any time a person faces criminal charges, the allegations should be taken seriously. However, facing charges for a violent crime can have a significant impact on a person's future. A conviction could change his or her life forever. Even being charged with the offense could have an impact on the social and professional aspects of a person's life.

If you are facing charges for a violent crime in Ohio, contact an experienced Columbus violent crime defense attorney at Joslyn Law Firm. We can help you through the grueling process and make sure all options are available to you in your defense. Call (614) 444-1900 to discuss your unique case.

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