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What violent crime statistics really mean for America

New data from the FBI says that violent crime increased for a second year in a row in the United States. However, New York residents shouldn't be worried about a nationwide epidemic when it comes to crime. This is partially because there isn't enough data to know if this increase is part of a larger trend or something that is confined to the present day.

It is also important to point out that most of the increases have taken place in larger cities. Chicago alone was responsible for 20 percent of the increase between 2015 and 2016. Overall, there were 17,250 people who killed in 2016, and that represents an 8.6 percent increase from 2015. In Chicago, there were 765 murders in 2016 compared to just 468 in 2015. However, the city has seen a decline in murders so far in 2017.

The Justice Department said in a statement that the 2016 numbers confirm that the rise in violent crime in 2015 was not an isolated incident. Critics of that response say that increases in crime are still concentrated in specific geographic areas, and that imposing tougher penalties may not be the best answer to the problem. In addition to Chicago, Baltimore and Las Vegas also saw increasing crime rates in 2016.

Those who are charged with violent crimes or for committing other criminal acts may face significant penalties if convicted. In some cases, it may be possible to spend time in jail or prison in addition to paying a fine. An attorney may be able to help create defenses to the charge such as questioning the validity of evidence used to charge an individual. If successful, it may be possible to negotiate a plea agreement or have it thrown out altogether.

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