Whether you've lived in Tennessee all your life, or have just recently migrated here, you're probably somewhat aware of state laws regarding various topics. Perhaps police have pulled you over a time or two for driving a few miles over a posted speed limit or driving with a broken taillight. If your car has ever drifted a bit too close to the yellow line, you may have wound up in a traffic stop on suspicion of drunk driving.
After submitting to a Breathalyzer and a few field sobriety tests, you may have been able to resolve your situation. The experience likely made you at least vaguely familiar with the criminal justice system. It can be a real game-changer, however, if police charge you with a serious offense.
Statistics on serious crimes throughout the nation
In order to adhere to the law, you first have to know the law; therefore, it's always good to seek information regarding federal laws and the laws in your own state (or any state you enter) as doing so can help you avoid legal trouble. The following list shows some of the most frequently reported crimes throughout Tennessee and the rest of the nation:
- Police charge more people with property crimes than violent crimes. In fact, in a given year, there are as many as 10 million reported property crimes in the United States.
- The number of violent crimes committed each year is far less; there are approximately one or two million in a 12-month period.
- Seven percent of all reported violent crimes are charged as aggravated assaults.
- Robberies are also among the most common violent crimes in the nation.
- Other thefts, such as those involving motor vehicles, account for at least 10 percent of all crimes reported in a year's time nationwide.
- You may be surprised to learn that murder has never been listed among the top five most common crimes in America.
It's important to remember that if police charge you with a violent crime, it does not constitute your guilt. You are presumed innocent of all charges unless and until prosecutors convince the court otherwise. As the criminal justice process unfolds, you will be given an opportunity to refute the charges against you. There are often strategies to employ to build a strong case.
For instance, if police charge you with aggravated assault, prosecutors have to prove that it was your explicit intent to cause harm and grave injury to another person. Most Tennessee residents who go to court on violent crime charges secure experienced defense assistance before proceedings begin as doing so often increases the chances of avoiding conviction.