According to data that is reported by law enforcement officials in Texas to the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Department of Justice on the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and also from the Texas Department of Safety, overall crime in the state has fallen 6.4 percent between 2010 and 2011. This figure is comprised of data reported by both police departments and county sheriff offices throughout the entire state of Texas. Violent crimes are commonly referred to as Part I offenses due to their seriousness, and include the categories of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. These Part I offenses decreased in Texas for the same period by 7.36 percent. Lesser misdemeanor offenses such as burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft fell overall by 6.26 percent.
By category, according to the data collected by the Texas Department of Public Safety, larceny/theft was the most common occurring offense, comprising 62 percent of all reported crimes, followed by burglary, which was 22 percent of all crimes reported in Texas in 2011. Aggravated assault was the highest occurring Part I offense at 7 percent of all crimes reported. Here is a ranking of crimes committed in the State of Texas by percent of total crime as compared to its 2010 total:
- Larceny/Theft 61.5%, down 6.26%
- Burglary 21.6%, down 6%
- Aggravated Assault 6.8%, down 4.94%
- Motor Vehicle Theft 6.4%, down 7.09%
- Robbery 2.8%, down 13.59%
- Rape 0.7%, down 2.37%
- Murder 0.1%, down 12.74%
Where Crime Occurs in the State of Texas
A further examination of the data provided by the Texas Department of Safety shows that the majority of crimes that occurred as reported in 2011 occurred in the following ten jurisdictions ranked as a percentage of the total crimes reported by jurisdiction, which is either the police department or sheriff’s office: (Percentages given are a portion of the 2011 total.)
Houston (Pop. 2,143,628) Police Department, 129,228 crimes, 13 percent
San Antonio (Pop. 1,355,339) Police Department, 87,906 crimes, 8.8 percent
Dallas (Pop. 1,223,021) Police Department, 70,189 crimes, 7 percent
Austin (Pop. 807,022) Police Department, 45,720 crimes, 4.6 percent
Fort Worth (Pop. 756,803) Police Department, 39,577 crimes, 4 percent
Harris County (Pop. 1,596,952) Sheriff’s Office, 28,582 crimes, 2.9 percent
El Paso (Pop. 662,780) Police Department, 19,170 crimes, 1.9 percent
Arlington Police Department (Pop. 373,128), 19,082 crimes, 1.7 percent
Corpus Christi (Pop. 311,637) Police Department, 16,884 crimes, 1.7 percent
Lubbock (Pop. 234,404) Police Department, 13,965 crimes, 1.4 percent
Types of Sentences for Commonly Occurring Crimes
Sentences for classes of crimes in Texas are found in the Texas Penal Code. The type of punishment that judges can hand down to criminal defendants varies depending on the severity of the crime and whether a weapon was used in the commission of the crime. Felonies including larceny/theft valued at $1,500 or more have a maximum punishment that ranges from 180 days in state jail to execution, as determined in Texas State District Court. Misdemeanor offenses are categorized by class and are adjudicated in county court. The maximum punishment for misdemeanors ranges from a fine of $500 to one year and a fine of $4,000.
It should be noted that although the rate of crime in Texas has fallen, the prison population in the state has fallen slightly between 2010 and 2011 (0.8 percent) from 173,649 prisoners in 2010 to 172,224 in 2011. The prison population in Texas is the largest of all states and just 50,000 less than the Federal prison population. The prison population in Texas is just 50,000 less than the Federal prison population. The next states in line behind Texas by number of persons incarcerated are California (149,569 prisoners), which had a 3.6 percent reduction between 2010 and 2011 and Florida (103,055 prisoners), which had a 1.2 percent reduction.
This article was written together with Robert Tritter, an aspiring lawyer who hopes to share more information about the law with you. He writes this on behalf of OK Bail Bonds, your number one choice when looking for bail bonds in Houston. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!