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Crime Statistics Glossary

Statistical Information and Glossary
The below listed definitions are provided for information only and are not meant to be used for charging persons with crimes. Instead, they are meant to be general categories for reporting crimes that are committed throughout the United States to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. State statutes must be very specific in defining crimes so that persons facing prosecution will know the exact charges being filed against them. On the other hand, the definitions used for reporting crimes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation must be generic in order not to exclude varying state statutes relating to the same type of crime. Accordingly, the offense definitions are based on the common-law definitions found in Black's Law Dictionary, as well as those used in the Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook and the NCIC Uniform Offense Classifications.

For a complete list and definition of all California Penal Offenses, visit the California Penal Code. For additional legal info, visit the LAPD Law and Legal Reference section.

Arson
To unlawfully and intentionally damage, or attempt to damage, any real or personal property by fire or incendiary device.

Assault Offenses
An unlawful attack by one person upon another.

(a) Aggravated Assault
An unlawful attack by one person upon another wherein the offender uses a weapon or displays it in a threatening manner, or the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness. This also includes assault with disease (as in cases when the offender is aware that he/she is infected with a deadly disease and deliberately attempts to inflict the disease by biting, spitting, etc.) For the purposes of the above definition, a "weapon" is a commonly known weapon (a gun, knife, club, etc.) or any other item which, although not usually thought of as a weapon, becomes one when used in a manner that could cause the types of severe bodily injury described in the above definition. A "severe laceration" is one which should receive medical attention. A "loss of consciousness" must be the direct result of force inflicted on the victim by the offender.

(b) Simple Assault
An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.

(c) Intimidation
To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.

Bribery
The offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any thing of value (i.e., a bribe, gratuity, or kickback) to sway the judgment or action of a person in a position of trust or influence

Burglary
The unlawful entry into a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony or a theft.

Counterfeiting/Forgery
The altering, copying, or imitation of something, without authority or right, with the intent to deceive or defraud by passing the copy or thing altered or imitated as that which is original or genuine; or the selling, buying, or possession of an altered, copied, or imitated thing with the intent to deceive or defraud.

Curfew/Loitering/Vagrancy Violations
The violation of a court order, regulation, ordinance, or law requiring the withdrawal of persons from the streets or other specified areas; prohibiting persons from remaining in an area or place in an idle or aimless manner; or prohibiting persons from going from place to place without visible means of support.

Disorderly Conduct
Any behaviors that tend to disturb the public peace or decorum, scandalize the community, or shock the public sense of morality.

Driving Under the Influence
Driving or operating a motor vehicle or common carrier while mentally or physically impaired as the result of consuming an alcoholic beverage or using a drug or narcotic.

Drug/Narcotic Offenses
The violation of laws prohibiting the production, distribution, and/or use of certain controlled substances and the equipment or devices utilized in their preparation and/or use.

(a) Drug/Narcotic Violations:
The unlawful cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, purchase, use, possession, transportation, or importation of any controlled drug or narcotic substance.

(b) Drug Equipment Violations
The unlawful manufacture, sale, purchase, possession, or transportation of equipment or devices utilized in preparing and/or using drugs or narcotics.

Drunkenness
To drink alcoholic beverages to the extent that one's mental faculties and physical coordination are substantially impaired.

Embezzlement
The unlawful misappropriation by an offender to his/her own use or purpose of money, property, or some other thing of value entrusted to his/her care, custody, or control.

Extortion/Blackmail
To unlawfully obtain money, property, or any other thing of value, either tangible or intangible, through the use or threat of force, misuse of authority, threat of criminal prosecution, threat of destruction of reputation or social standing, or through other coercive means.

Family Offenses, Nonviolent
Unlawful, nonviolent acts by a family member (or legal guardian) which threaten the physical, mental or economic well-being or morals of another family member, and which are not classifiable as other offenses, such as Assault, Incest, Statutory Rape, etc.

Fraud Offenses
The intentional perversion of the truth for the purpose of inducing another person, or other entity, in reliance upon it to part with some thing of value or to surrender a legal right.

False Pretenses/Swindle/Confidence Game - The intentional misrepresentation of existing fact or condition, or the use of some other deceptive scheme or device, to obtain money, goods, or other things of value.

Credit Card/Automatic Teller Machine Fraud - The unlawful use of a credit (or debit) card or automatic teller machine for fraudulent purposes.

Impersonation - Falsely representing one's identity or position, and acting in the character or position thus unlawfully assumed, to deceive others and thereby gain a profit or advantage, enjoy some right or privilege, or subject another person or entity to an expense, charge, or liability which would not have otherwise been incurred.

Welfare Fraud - The use of deceitful statements, practices, or devices to unlawfully obtain welfare benefits.

Wire Fraud - The use of an electric or electronic communications facility to intentionally transmit a false and/or deceptive message in furtherance of a fraudulent activity.

Gambling Offenses
To unlawfully bet or wager money or something else of value; assist, promote, or operate a game of chance for money or some other stake; possess or transmit wagering information; manufacture, sell, purchase, possess, or transport gambling equipment, devices or goods; or tamper with the outcome of a sporting event or contest to gain a gambling advantage.

Betting/Wagering - To unlawfully stake money or something else of value on the happening of an uncertain event or on the ascertainment of a fact in dispute.

Operating/Promoting/Assisting Gambling - To unlawfully operate, promote, or assist in the operation of a game of chance, lottery, or other gambling activity.

Gambling Equipment Violations - To unlawfully manufacture, sell, buy, possess, or transport equipment, devices, and/or goods used for gambling purposes.

Sports Tampering - To unlawfully alter, meddle in, or otherwise interfere with a sporting contest or event for the purpose of gaining a gambling advantage.

 

Homicide Offenses
The killing of one human being by another.

Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter - The willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.

Negligent Manslaughter - The killing of another person through negligence.

Justifiable Homicide - The killing of a perpetrator of a serious criminal offense by a peace officer in the line of duty; or the killing, during the commission of a serious criminal offense, of the perpetrator by a private individual.

Kidnapping/Abduction
The unlawful seizure, transportation, and/or detention of a person against his/her will, or of a minor without the consent of his/her custodial parent(s) or legal guardian.

 

Larceny/Theft Offenses
The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession, or constructive possession, of another person.

Pocket-picking - The theft of articles from another person's physical possession by stealth where the victim usually does not become immediately aware of the theft.

Purse-snatching - The grabbing or snatching of a purse, handbag, etc., from the physical possession of another person.

Shoplifting - The theft, by someone other than an employee of the victim, of goods or merchandise exposed for sale.

Theft From Building - A theft from within a building, which is either open to the general public or where the offender has legal access.

Theft From Coin-Operated Machine or Device - A theft from a machine or device, which is operated or activated by the use of coins.

Theft From Motor Vehicle - The theft of articles from an unlocked motor vehicle.

Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts or Accessories - The theft of any part or accessory affixed to the interior or exterior of a motor vehicle in a manner which would make the item an attachment of the vehicle, or necessary for its operation.

All Other Larceny - All thefts which do not fit any of the definitions of the specific subcategories of Larceny/Theft listed above.

Liquor Law Violations
The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, or use of alcoholic beverages.

 

Motor Vehicle Theft
The theft of a motor vehicle. [Note: A "motor vehicle" is a self-propelled vehicle that runs on the surface of land and not on rails, and which fits one of the following property descriptions: Automobiles - sedans, coupes, station wagons, convertibles, taxicabs, or other similar motor vehicles which serve the primary purpose of transporting people. Buses - motor vehicles which are specifically designed (but not necessarily used) to transport groups of people on a commercial basis. Recreational Vehicles - motor vehicles which are specifically designed (but not necessarily used) to transport people and also provide them temporary lodging for recreational purposes. Trucks - motor vehicles which are specifically designed (but not necessarily used) to transport cargo. Other Motor Vehicles - any other motor vehicles, e.g., motorcycles, motor scooters, trail bikes, mopeds, snowmobiles, golf carts, etc.

Part I Crimes
Part I Crimes are the eight "serious offenses" for which the FBI gathers national data including Homicide, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assaults, Burglary, Larceny, Vehicle Theft and Arson.

Part II Crimes
Part II Crimes are "less serious" offenses and include: Simple Assaults, Forgery/Counterfeiting, Embezzlement/Fraud, Receiving Stolen Property, Weapon Violations, Prostitution, Sex Crimes, Crimes Against Family/Child, Narcotic Drug Laws, Liquor Laws, Drunkenness, Disturbing the Peace, Disorderly Conduct, Gambling, DUI and Moving Traffic Violations.

Peeping Tom
To secretly look through a window, doorway, keyhole, or other aperture for the purpose of voyeurism.

Pornography/Obscene Material
The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, publishing, sale, purchase, or possession of sexually explicit material, e.g., literature, photographs, etc.

Prostitution Offenses
To unlawfully engage in or promote sexual activities for profit.

Robbery
The taking, or attempting to take, anything of value under confrontational circumstances from the control, custody, or care of another person by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear of immediate harm.

Runaway (Persons under age 18)
A person under 18 years of age who has left home without the permission of his/her parent(s) or legal guardian.

Sex Offenses, Forcible
Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent.

Forcible Rape (Except "Statutory Rape") - The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Forcible Sodomy - Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Sexual Assault With An Object - To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. [Note: An "object" or "instrument" is anything used by the offender other than the offender's genitalia. Examples are a finger, bottle, handgun, stick, etc.]

 

Sex Offenses, Nonforcible
Unlawful, nonforcible sexual intercourse.

Incest - NONFORCIBLE sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

Statutory Rape - NONFORCIBLE sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Stolen Property Offenses
Receiving, buying, selling, possessing, concealing, or transporting any property with the knowledge that it has been unlawfully taken, as by Burglary, Embezzlement, Fraud, Larceny, Robbery, etc.

Trespass of Real Property
To unlawfully enter land, a dwelling, or other real property.

Vandalism of Property
To willfully or maliciously destroy, damage, deface, or otherwise injure real or personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of it.

Weapon Law Violations
The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, concealment, or use of firearms, cutting instruments, explosives, incendiary devices, or other deadly weapons.

 

Source:
U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Uniform Crime Reporting National Incident-Based Reporting System
Data Collection Guidelines

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