What’s the Difference Between Violent and Property Crime?
While criminal court will divide crime using collars, such blue-collar and white-collar crime, statistics use different labels for crime. The two types they use are violent and property crime. But why do we need these two when we have so many different ways to label criminal activity? The violent and property crime attorneys at Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam can explain.
What is Violent Crime?
A violent crime is any crime where someone has been the victim of violence or been threatened with violence. Violence would be defined as physically harming someone in some way through physical trauma. For instance, harassment that leads to suicide would not be a violent crime.
Violent crime is much more straightforward than property crime, but it is not always a one-or-the-other situation. You can have instances where someone is charged with both crimes over one incident. This is easier to understand after explaining what property crime is.
What is Property Crime?
A property crime is one where someone’s property is damaged, destroyed, or stolen without the use of force against the victim. If someone is robbed, where someone steals something off their person, it would not be a property crime, but a violent crime.
This is where the crossover comes in. You can have an incident where someone commits larceny but uses violence after being caught. Since you can be charged with multiple crimes from one incident, when statistics record it, it may be counted towards both violent and property crimes.
Can it Ever be Neither Violent or Property Crime?
Currently, there is no crime that isn’t either a violent crime or a property crime. Any crime that doesn’t have a violent component is considered a property crime, which includes all white-collar crimes like embezzlement, fraud, and more.
While some crimes don’t always have tangible physical items or a specific person to steal from, many white-collar crimes are still property crimes because they affect the value of other objects. Even counterfeit money affects the worth of the dollar, which affects the money that everyone owes. The property was effectively damaged, just not in a way that could be physically seen.
Why Do We Distinguish Crime This Way?
There are a lot of ways to label and categorize crime, so why do we have this label that, in many ways, feels too vague and spread out to effectively to do anything? Let’s consider who uses these labels. These labels aren’t typically used by local criminal courts. They’re used by statistic collectors and organizers.
They benefit from this separation because statisticians commonly want to make information digestible for general public consumption. To do this, it’s best to make it as simple and easy to understand as possible. Splitting it into two categories does this.
They likely use these two categories because they also separate by the effect they have on the victim. Someone who is stolen from, whether it be through white-collar crimes or someone stealing a purse, is going to be financially affected, but only financially affected. Someone who is violently attacked can face damage to their physical body and their health.
Statistics are used to help people inform their talking points, their general conversations, and get a better understanding of the current state of the world. How crime affects people’s wages and how much people should fear for their physical health are two of the most relevant – if not the most relevant – talking points for many people. This makes them suitable labels to have.
Contact the Violent & Property Crime Attorneys at MVSK Law For Help
While we may not use the labels – violent crime and property crime – as attorneys, we still represent people who have been charged with these crimes. It doesn’t matter what it’s called. You still face a criminal charge and need support.
Our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience with many different kinds of violent and property crimes. If you need legal representation, you can count on us. Contact us today.