Crime statistics from 2021 show that while crime in California remains relatively low, certain offenses went up — specifically, crimes of violence.
The Public Policy Institute of California reports that violent crime incidents per capita jumped 6 percent from 2020 to 2021. In the latter year, there were 466 violent crimes per 100,000 California residents. Rapes increased by 7.9 percent and homicides went up at nearly the same rate at 7.7 percent. Aggravated assaults, such as assault with a deadly weapon and assault with a firearm, increased by 8.9 percent.
About two-thirds of violent crimes reported to authorities were aggravated assaults and a little under a quarter were robberies. Of the rest, 8 percent were rapes and 1 percent were homicides.
The 466 per 100,000 residents was the highest rate in the past decade. Still, violent crime in California has remained lower than its 1992 peak and has been relatively flat since 2010.
Severe sentences for violent crimes
California punishes violent crimes severely. A conviction for assault with a deadly weapon other than a gun can mean a prison sentence of four years. The punishment for rape starts at up to eight years in prison, with more time for aggravating factors like injury to the victim or a victim under 18 at the time. Penalties for homicide range from up to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter to a life sentence for first-degree murder.
Getting charged with a violent crime is a serious matter. But getting charged is not the same thing as getting convicted, which is not automatic. Depending on the evidence, it may be possible to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced. But you won’t know for sure until you discuss your case with a defense attorney.