Do Certain Crimes Really Spike During the Holidays?
The holiday season, while filled with love, laughter, and joy, isn’t always relaxing. For most people, running around doing last-minute shopping and spending money is chaotic and stressful. What’s deemed as “the most wonderful time of the year” is often not the case for those who can’t afford gift-giving or have no family to spend it with.
Consequently, year after year, news anchors and article headlines warn citizens about spikes in criminal activity as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s approach. But is this true? Do certain crimes really spike during the holidays? The short answer is yes; however, crime statistics reveal it’s primarily theft-related crimes.
The Reality of Holiday-Related Crimes
While certain crimes spike during the holidays, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the holidays are “the most dangerous season.” Crimes happen every day. Although limited evidence explains why certain crimes increase over the holidays, many believe it has to do with these three reasons: more time off, more opportunities, and more intoxicated people.
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) released a report that examined seasonal patterns over a 17-year period. The findings showed that violent crimes such as rape, sexual assault, murder, household larceny, and motor vehicle theft are higher in the summer season rather than in the fall and winter seasons. Therefore, even though crimes tend to spike from October to December, the types of crimes that rise are typically not the most serious in nature.
The Most Common Criminal Acts During the Holidays
Common criminal acts that occur during the holidays in Florida include driving under the influence (DUI), cybercrimes, domestic violence, and counterfeiting. These types of crimes should not be taken lightly, as they will come with harsh criminal penalties if you’re convicted. However, another report by the NCVS reveals that larceny and robbery hit the top of the crime list during the holidays. It’s important to be aware of the potential criminal penalties each of these crimes may entail. Below you’ll find a short description of each.
Larceny is a crime that involves intentional theft of another person’s or business’s personal property, without using force. For example, shoplifting is a form of larceny that peaks during the holidays, especially due to heavy crowds and busy employees. Penalties for larceny depend on the value of the goods and the number of prior offenses.
The least severe larceny crime is petit theft of the second degree, which entails stolen property valued at less than $100, and is classified as a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. The most serious form of larceny is grand theft of the first degree, which constitutes stolen property valued at more than $100,000, and is charged as a felony, and punishable by up to 30 years in prison and hefty fines.
Robbery is like larceny, but it involves using force or threat of force. Robbery is a felony in the state of Florida. Robbery with a deadly weapon is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison. The same goes for a home invasion, whether with a deadly weapon or not. Robbery without a deadly weapon is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Need a Criminal Lawyer During the Holidays? Call The Umansky Law Firm
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime over the holiday, you’re likely anxious about what’s to come. Don’t start the new year off facing a criminal conviction—reach out to a reputable criminal defense lawyer at The Umansky Law firm for trusted legal advice as you navigate the charges against you. We understand that when times are tough, you need a qualified advisor who will give you the one-on-one attention you deserve.
Here at The Umansky Law Firm, our experience in criminal law is wide-ranging, having successfully handled thousands of cases for our clients in Orlando. We have the knowledge and resources to propose solid defenses and litigate them effectively. To each of our clients, we extend professionalism, respect, efficiency, and more importantly, exceptional results. Start building your case today by calling our office or completing a contact form for a free consultation.