On Nov. 1, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released its semi-annual uniform crime report. The report contains a preliminary indication of Florida crime and criminal activities reported to law enforcement for the first half of 2012.
Overall, the state of Florida saw a 3.9 percent decrease in crime compared to the first six months of 2011. Violent crime dropped even more, seeing a decline of 5.3 percent. Crime rose slightly in some areas, however, including Orlando, Kissimmee and Leesburg and in Orange County.
The report also contained information on crime on the state’s college campuses. The University of Central Florida reported a drop in robberies, larcenies and auto thefts but a rise in rape, aggravated assault and burglary.
Because the uniform crime report takes data on crimes known by and reported to law enforcement officials, it does have limitations. Not all reported offenses have been through the justice system. In addition, false reports are not accounted for.
Efforts are being made to take a smarter approach to justice in Florida by cutting the state’s prison population and reevaluating sentencing for nonviolent crimes. But many offenses in the state still carry harsh penalties including fines, license suspension, treatment programs and jail time.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Florida, it is important to seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can help you review your case, build a strong defense and work for the best possible outcome in your case so you can get back to your life.
Source: The Orlando Sentinel, “FDLE Crime report mixed,” Jeff Weiner, Nov. 1, 2012