Definition of Offenses Used in Uniform Crime Reporting
The following definitions are taken directly from Crime in the United States 1997 (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1998) and are listed in the order that the Federal Bureau of Investigation lists offenses in all reports based on the Uniform Crime Reports. The offenses are broken into Part I, the offenses from which the FBI calculates its Crime Index. These offenses are, therefore, often referred to as index crimes. The first four are the index violent crimes; the second four are the index property crimes. Part II offenses cover the rest of the crimes recorded in the Uniform Crime Reports.
PART I OFFENSES
Criminal homicide (murder and nonnegligent manslaughter): The will-ful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. Excluded are deaths caused by negligence, attempts to kill, assaults to kill, suicides, accidental deaths, traffic fatalities, and justifiable homicides. Justifiable homicides are limited to the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty and the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.
Note: This appendix is adapted from Federal Bureau of Investigation (1998:407).
Forcible rape: The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Included are rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape. Excluded are statutory offenses (no force used, but victim under the age of consent).
Robbery: The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
Aggravated assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
Burglary/breaking and entering: The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft. Attempted forcible entry is included.
Larceny/theft: The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Examples are thefts of bicycles or automotive accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, or stealing of any property or article which is not taken by force and violence or by fraud. Attempted larcenies are included. Motor vehicle thefts are excluded, as are embezzlement, confidence games, forgery, worthless checks, etc.
Motor vehicle theft: The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. A motor vehicle is self-propelled and runs on the surface and not on rails. Specifically excluded from this category are motorboats, construction equipment, airplanes, and farming equipment.
Arson: Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.
PART II OFFENSES
Other assaults (simple): Assaults and attempted assaults where no weapon is used and which do not result in serious or aggravated injury to the victim.
Forgery and counterfeiting: Making, altering, uttering, or possessing, with intent to defraud, anything false in the semblance of that which is true. Attempts are included.
Fraud: Fraudulent conversion and obtaining money or property by false pretenses. Included are confidence games and bad checks, except forgeries and counterfeiting.
Embezzlement: Misappropriation or misapplication of money or property entrusted to one's care, custody, or control.
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing: Buying, receiving, and possessing stolen property, including attempts.
Vandalism: Willful or malicious destruction, injury, disfigurement, or defacement of any public or private property, real or personal, without consent of the owner or persons having custody or control.
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc.: All violations of regulations or statutes controlling the carrying, using, possessing, furnishing, and manufacturing of deadly weapons or silencers. Included are attempts.
Prostitution and commercialized vice: Sex offenses of a commercialized nature, such as prostitution, keeping a bawdy house, procuring, or transporting women for immoral purposes. Attempts are included.
Sex offenses (except forcible rape, prostitution, and commercialized vice): Statutory rape and all offenses against chastity, common decency, morals, and the like. Attempts are included.
Drug abuse violations: State and/or local offenses relating to the unlawful possession, sale, use, growing, and manufacturing of narcotic drugs. The following drug categories are specified: opium or cocaine and their derivatives (morphine, heroin, codeine); marijuana; synthetic narcotics— manufactured narcotics that can cause true addiction (demerol, methadone); and dangerous nonnarcotic drugs (barbiturates, benzedrine).
Gambling: Promoting, permitting, or engaging in illegal gambling.
Offenses against the family and children: Nonsupport, neglect, desertion, or abuse of family and children.
Driving under the influence: Driving or operating any vehicle or common carrier while drunk or under the influence of liquor or narcotics.
Liquor laws: State and/or local liquor law violations, except “drunkenness” and “driving under the influence.” Federal violations are excluded.
Drunkenness: Offenses relating to drunkenness or intoxication. Excluded is “driving under the influence.”
Disorderly conduct: Breach of the peace.
Vagrancy: Vagabondage, begging, loitering, etc.
All other offenses: All violations of state and/or local laws, except those listed above and traffic offenses.
Suspicion: No specific offense; suspect released without formal charges being placed.
Curfew and loitering laws (persons under age 18): Offenses relating to violations of local curfew or loitering ordinances where such laws exist.
Runaways (persons under age 18): Limited to juveniles taken into protective custody under provisions of local statutes.
Federal Bureau of Investigation 1998 Crime in the United States 1997. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.