A goal of the UCR Program, as developed by law enforcement, was to provide a "common denominator" language that transcends the varying local and state laws. State statutes and local ordinances must be very specific in defining crimes so that persons facing prosecution will know the exact charges being placed against them. On the other hand, the definitions used in UCR are generic in order not to exclude varying state and federal statutes relating to the same type of crime. These definitions are provided to assist the reader in understanding the classification of crimes submitted in the 2010 Annual Report. The offense definitions in the UCR Program are based on the common-law definitions found in the Black's Law Dictionary, the Program's 1932 Standard Classification of Offenses, and the National Crime Information Center's Uniform Offense Classifications.
Adult: A person 18 years of age or older.
Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
All Other Offenses: All violations of state or local laws not specifically identified as Part I or Part II offenses, except traffic violations.
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.
Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another. See aggravated assault or simple assault.
Autos: Sedans, station wagons, coupes, convertibles, sport utility vehicles, minivans and other similar motor vehicles that serve the primary purpose of transporting people from one place to another.
Auto Theft: See Motor Vehicle Theft.
Bias Crime: A criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity/national origin; also known as a hate crime.
Bomb - Actual: All violations of regulations or statutes controlling the carrying, using, possessing, furnishing and manufacturing of explosives and explosive devices.
Bomb - Threat: The reporting of a bomb or explosive device that has or will be placed in any public or private place, knowing that such information is false.
Burglary: The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. Attempted forcible entry is included.
Cleared by Arrest: An offense is considered cleared when at least one person involved in the commission of the offense has been; (1) arrested, (2) charged and (3) turned over to the court for prosecution.
Cleared by Exceptional Means: A clearance in which some element beyond law enforcement control prevents filing of formal charges against the offender. Agencies can clear an offense exceptionally if they can answer all of the following in the affirmative. (1) Has the investigation definitely established the identity of the offender? (2) Is there enough information to support an arrest, charge, and turning over to the court for prosecution? (3) Is the exact location of the offender known so that the subject could be taken into custody now? (4) Is there some reason outside law enforcement control that precludes arresting, charging, and prosecuting the offender (for example, suicide, deathbed confession, double murder, etc.)?
Criminal Homicide: The willful killing of one human being by another.
Curfew and Loitering (Persons under age 18): Violations by juveniles of local curfew or loitering ordinances.
Disorderly Conduct: Any behavior that tends to disturb the public peace or decorum, scandalizes the community or shocks the public sense of morality.
Driving Under the Influence: Driving or operating a motor vehicle or common carrier while mentally or physically impaired as the result of consuming an alcoholic beverage or using a drug or narcotic.
Drug Abuse Violations: The violation of laws prohibiting the production, distribution, and/or use of certain controlled substances and the equipment or devices utilized in their preparation and/or use. The unlawful cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, purchase, use, possession, transportation or importation of any controlled drug or narcotic substance. Arrests for violations of state and local laws, specifically those relating to the unlawful possession, sale, use, growing, manufacturing and making of narcotic drugs. This does not include violations involving possession of drug paraphernalia.
Drunkenness: To drink alcoholic beverages to the extent that one's mental faculties and physical coordination are substantially impaired. Includes public drunkenness, but excludes driving under the influence.
Embezzlement: The unlawful misappropriation or misapplication by an offender to his/her own use or purpose of money, property or some other thing of value entrusted to his/her care, custody or control.
FBI Crime Index Offenses: Offenses chosen to serve as an index for gauging fluctuations in the overall volume and rate of crime. Known jointly as the Crime Index, these offenses include the violent crimes of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Felony: A crime which is punishable with death or by imprisonment in the state prison.
Forcible Rape: The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.
Forgery and Counterfeiting: The altering, copying, or imitating of something without authority or right, with the intent to deceive or defraud by passing the copy or thing altered or imitated as that which is original or genuine; or the selling, buying or possession of an altered, copied or imitated thing with the intent to deceive or defraud.
Fraud: The intentional perversion of the truth for the purpose of inducing another person or other entity in reliance upon it to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right. Fraudulent conversion and obtaining of money or property by false pretenses.
Gambling: To unlawfully bet or wager money or something else of value; assist, promote, or operate a game of chance for money or some other stake; possess or transmit wagering information; manufacture, sell, purchase, possess or transport gambling equipment, devices or goods; or tamper with the outcome of a sporting event or contest to gain a gambling advantage.
Hate Crime: A criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity/national origin; also known as a bias crime.
Hierarchy Rule: When more than one Part I offense is classified, the law enforcement agency must locate the offense that is highest on the hierarchy list and score that offense and not the other offense in the multiple-offense situation. There is a significance to the order in which the Part I offenses are presented, with murder being the highest in the hierarchy and arson being the lowest. The offenses of justifiable homicide, motor vehicle theft, and arson are exceptions to the Hierarchy Rule.
Juvenile: A person under 18 years of age.
Larceny-Theft: The unlawful taking, carrying, leading or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another.
Liquor Laws: The violation of state or local laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession or use of alcoholic beverages, not including driving under the influence and drunkenness.
Manslaughter by Negligence: The killing of another person through gross negligence.
Misdemeanor: A crime punishable by imprisonment in a county jail, by fine or by both. Under certain conditions a felony crime can be treated as a misdemeanor.
Motor Vehicle: A self-propelled vehicle that runs on land surface and not on rails.
Motor Vehicle Theft: The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter: The willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.
Offenses Against the Family and Children: Unlawful nonviolent acts by a family member (or legal guardian) which threaten the physical, mental, or economic well-being or morals of another family member and which are not classifiable as other offenses, such as Assault or Sex Offenses.
Part I Offenses: The first of two main groupings of UCR crime classifications consisting of eight offenses (criminal homicide, forcible rape, all assaults, robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson).
Part II Offenses: The second of two main UCR groupings of crime classifications not already designated in Part I. Agencies are limited to reporting arrest information only for Part I offenses with the exception of simple assault.
Property Crime: Defined by UCR as structure burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Prostitution and Commercialized Vice: The unlawful promotion of or participation in sexual activities for profit.
Rape: The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will, is incapable to give consent due to mental disorder, developmental or physical disability, intoxication or unconsciousness, or if the act is committed by trickery. Assaults or attempts to commit rape or threat of force are included.
Robbery: The taking or attempted taking of 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.
Runaways (Persons under age 18): Limited to juveniles taken into protective custody under the provisions of local statutes.
Sex Offenses: Offenses against chastity, common decency, morals and the like.
Simple Assault: All assaults which do not involve the use of a firearm, knife, cutting instrument or other dangerous weapon and in which the victim did not sustain serious or aggravated injuries. Simple assaults are not included in the Violent Crime crime rates.
Stolen Property: Buying, Receiving, Possessing: Buying, receiving, possessing, selling, concealing or transporting any property with the knowledge that it has been unlawfully taken, as by burglary, embezzlement, fraud, larceny, robbery, etc.
Suspicion: Arrested for no specific offense and released without formal charges being placed.
Trespass: Certain acts willfully committed on private or public lands e.g., refusal to leave a public building upon request when the building is closed for business.
UCR: See Uniform Crime Reports.
Uniform Crime Reports: A federal reporting system which provides data on crime based on police statistics submitted by law enforcement agencies in the nation.
Vandalism: To willfully or maliciously destroy, injure, disfigure or deface any public or private property, real or personal, without the consent of the owner or person having custody or control by cutting, tearing, breaking, marking, painting, drawing, covering with filth or any other such means as may be specified by local law.
Vehicle Theft: See Motor Vehicle Theft.
Violent Crime: Defined by UCR as willful homicide, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Weapons: Carrying, Possessing, Etc.: The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, concealment or use of firearms, cutting instruments, explosives, incendiary devices or other deadly weapons.