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What are non-violent crimes?

When Oregon residents think about a crime, they may think about things such as robbery, murder or kidnapping. In other cases, sexual assault or battery may come to mind. While these are crimes, these acts fall into the category of violent crimes. However, not all crime is violent in nature.

In fact, many crimes fall into a second category called non-violent crimes. These crimes are actually very common. Data suggests that three out of four inmates in state prisons across the U.S. were convicted of non-violent crimes.

Non-violent crimes can be broken down further. These crimes include property offenses, public-order offenses and drug offenses. Drug offenses include everything from low-level drug charges to trafficking charges. Property offenses, on the other hand, include crimes such as theft, arson, fraud or larceny. Finally, public-order offenses include probation violations, driving while intoxicated charges and other similar charges.

People may believe that the penalties for non-violent crimes are less serious than violent crimes. However, people should be aware that the penalties can be very serious. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, the average prison sentence for a person convicted of a non-violent crime was 52 months in prison. Additionally, the average person serves about 16 months of their sentence before being released.

While anyone can be convicted of a non-violent crime, data shows that most are under 34-years-old and 90 percent are male. Ethnic and racial minorities are also more commonly convicted.

People who have been accused of any crime, even non-violent offenses, may need an aggressive criminal defense. With the help of an attorney, people can create a specific plan to fight the charges and avoid serious penalties.

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