Pennsylvania crime rates drop
News out of Pennsylvania shows that the number of criminal defense cases is down for the year, with a 1.4% drop in the number of violent crimes between 2013 and 2014. The total number of crimes dropped by 1.2%. This is the second consecutive year during which the total number of crimes has dropped. Authorities say that violent crimes – which include murder, non-negligent manslaughter, robbery, rape, aggravated assault and others – dropped by about 1,000 cases. Property crimes experienced a large drop, as well – with 278,079 burglaries – thefts and arson cases occurring during the 2012 calendar year. Assaults on police officers also experienced a drastic drop, with a 2.6% decline during the 12-month period. The only major category to see a rise was that of hate crimes, which increased from 73 to 80 in the past 12 months. Hate crimes are defined as those violations that are directly attributable to discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion or color, according to official reports. These numbers were made available through the state’s tracking system, which helps log the number of charges filed against residents of Pennsylvania. The system provides raw statistics, but it does not give analytical reasons for the decline in criminal activity throughout the state. Further, officers could just be spread so thin that they are unable to identify the same number of criminal violations as they had in the past. Many states are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain staffing levels thanks to significant budget cuts. No matter what kind of violations the defendants in these cases committed, they deserve the same level of consideration as all others accused of crimes in the United States. Our legal system is based on the premise of fairness and protection for defendants. Those facing criminal charges can learn more about their rights and responsibilities in court by consulting qualified defense attorneys before making any major legal decisions.