Selling Liquor to Minors and the Other Most Common Crimes in America

Oftentimes, the crime that gets reported on isn’t the crime that’s most effecting America. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the actual crime statistics, and what’s impacting the state you live in. Read on to find out the most common crimes in the United States.

1. Drug abuse

boyfriend and girlfriend shooting up with heroin syringe

About half were in for drug offenses. | diego_cervo/iStock/Getty Images

In 2015, there were roughly 207,847 people incarcerated in federal prisons. About half of those prisoners, 48.6%, were incarcerated for drug offenses, according to the Bureau of Prisons. As for state prisons, out of 1,358,875 prisoners, 16% of them were incarcerated with a drug crime as their most serious offense.

Next: This explains why so many Americans are affected by drunk driving. 

2. DUIs

MIAMI - JULY 04: Florida Highway Patrol trooper Raymond Addison checks the eyes of a driver at a DUI traffic checkpoint June 4, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Several law enforcement agencies were conducting the checkpoint and conducting saturation patrols to help save lives during the 4th of July holiday. The National Safety Council has rated the July 4th holdiay as one of most lethal holidays for drivers, with alcohol factoring into nearly half of all motor vehicle deaths.

About a third of people will be involved in a drunk driving crash. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

DUIs are another huge offender in the U.S. According to Quora, in a given year, between 800,000 and 1,500,000 arrests are made for DUI in the United States. It’s unsurprising, then, to learn that about one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving car crash in their lifetimes, and every day 28 people die as a result of drunk driving.

Next: This crime is severely underreported.  

3. Assault

Physical assault by a group of men

It’s a pretty broad term, and actually underreported. | Urilux/iStock/Getty Images

Assault can seem like a broad term, but according to the Bureau of Justice, it’s defined as: “an unlawful physical attack or threat of attack. Assaults may be classified as aggravated or simple.”

It’s important to note that, though assault is one of the most common crimes in America, it is still heavily underreported. Fewer than half (42%) of all violent victimizations committed in 2016 were reported to police, reports the Bureau of Justice.

Next: This law includes selling liquor to minors.  

4. Violation of liquor laws

four different alcoholic drinks in glasses

Buying liquor for minors is a common crime. | iStock/Getty Images

Violation of liquor laws, including selling liquor to minors and minor consumption, is another highly common crime that takes place in the U.S. According to Edgar Snyder, people between the ages of 12 and 20 drink 11% of the alcohol consumed in the U.S., and in 2010, there were 189,000 emergency room visits for injuries related to underage drinking.

Next: Violating this law can be a misdemeanor or a simple infraction. 

5. Public drunkenness

Drunk guys at a bar

Public intoxication isn’t as bad as a DUI, but it’s not great. | Polka Dot Images/iStock/Getty Images

With so many instances of violations of liquor laws, you many not be surprised to learn that public drunkenness is another highly common U.S. crime. According to Find Law, being charged for public intoxication isn’t as severe as a DUI charge, but it still has its own set of consequences.

“Depending on the state or locality, the charge for being drunk in public can be a misdemeanor or even simply an infraction, like a speeding ticket. But, unlike a speeding ticket, a public intoxication charge can result in being arrested and taken into custody by the police,” says writer George Khoury.

Next: This crime is the no. 1 threat to a person’s home. 

6. Burglary

Burglar breaking into a house via a window with a crowbar

2 million homes are reported burglarized every year. | iStock/Getty Images

According to Safe Guard the World, burglary is the no. 1 threat to a person’s home. Each year, 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported in the United States. Nearly 30% of those burglaries are via an open or unlocked door, so remember that the first step to avoiding being burglarized is locking your doors!

Next: The most common form of this crime is graffiti.  

7. Vandalism

A person vandalizing a car

Depending on the state of the property, it can be a misdemeanor or a felony. | Jens Rother/iStock/Getty Images

Another common crime in the United States, vandalism, is defined as “willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property.” According to Find Law, “Effects of vandalism can include broken windows, graffiti, damage to vehicles, and even damage or destruction of a person’s website.”

They go on to describe the penalties for vandalism: “Depending on the specific state and value of the property damage, vandalism is either a misdemeanor or felony offense. Penalties typically include fines, imprisonment in county jail, or both.”

Next: The states most affected by this crime are Florida and Georgia.  

8. Fraud

Stealing someone’s credit card information for example. | iStock/Getty Images

Fraud is another highly common crime committed in the United States. Fraud is defined as “A false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.” The states most affected by fraud are Florida, Georgia, and Nevada.

Next: It’s easier to catch the perpetrators of this crime.  

9. Stolen property

Hooded thief stealing a computer laptop from a parked car

The most common goods stolen are cars. | tommaso79/iStock/Getty Images

Stolen property is another problem plaguing the United States. The good news is that it’s not uncommon to recover stolen goods. According to Statista, stolen motor vehicles have the highest rate of being recovered if stolen, followed by livestock and consumable goods.

Next: We lose more people to this crime than we lose troops in war. 

10. Domestic violence

Young woman trying to protect herself from a man's clenched fist.

There were double the casualties from domestic violence to the war. | JOHNGOMEZPIX/iStock/Getty Images

Domestic violence is, unfortunately, another huge problem in America. “The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766. That’s nearly double the amount of casualties lost during war,” reads the Huffington Post.

Next: This crime is responsible for many underage felonies.  

11. Violation of curfew

Group of friends celebrating with sparklers at night

Staying out in public past a certain time is a crime for young people. | criene/iStock/Getty Images

Violation of curfew and loitering laws are also commonly broken. In fact, they made Atkins and Markoff’s list of the most common felony crimes in the U.S. For those unfamiliar, these laws restrict the times that youth may occupy public places or streets.

Next: When people can’t keep their deadly weapons in check  

12. Weapon violations

Illegally owning a weapon falls under this umbrella. | David McNew/Getty Images

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, weapon offenses are violations of statutes or regulations that control deadly weapons. Deadly weapons include firearms and their ammunition, silencers, explosives, and certain knives.

“Depending on the circumstances surrounding your specific case, a weapons charge can be considered either a misdemeanor or felony. A judge determines whether a weapons charge is a felony or misdemeanor charge depending on the kind of weapon involved, the defendant’s intent with the weapon and the presence on your record of any prior criminal offenses,” says Tully & Weiss.

Next: Most occurrences of this type of crime take place on the street or highway.  

13. Robbery

Bank Robber

Taking money from a person is different than taking it when they’re not home. | Tagstock1/iStock/Getty Images

Robbery, which differs from burglary, is defined as the act of taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. According to the FBI, most robberies take place on the street or highway.

Next: The age group most affected by this crime are those in their young 20s. 

14. Forgery and counterfeit

Counterfeit bags

Everything from forging money to art. | ttatty/iStock/Getty Images

Forgery and counterfeit are also very common throughout the United States. Forgery is defined as the action of forging or producing a copy of a document, signature, banknote, or work of art. According to the FBI, in 2001, the most affected age group of forgery were those between 19 and 23 years old.

Next: This crime cost its victims about $4.3 billion in 2012. 

15. Motor vehicle theft

Man in hoodie breaking into car

Motor vehicle thefts resulted in billions in damages. | Paul Bradbury/iStock/Getty Images

In 2012, there were about 721,053 motor vehicle thefts. The property losses that year, due to motor vehicle thefts, came in at an estimated $4.3 billion. According to RMIIA, the most popular models of cars that are stolen are Honda Accords, Honda Civics, and Ford Pickups.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!