What Are the Most Common Criminal Cases Prosecuted in the United States?


Quick Answer

In 2013, law enforcement made the highest number of arrests in the United States for drug abuse violations, larceny-theft and driving under the influence, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The second-highest number of arrests was grouped under the category of "other assaults," and included those not involving violent crimes.

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The FBI estimates that law enforcement made more than 1.5 million arrests in 2013 for drug abuse violations. Of all the drug abuse violations, 82.3 percent were for drug possession and 17.7 percent were for the sales or manufacturing of drugs. Most arrests were for marijuana possession, at 40.6 percent.

Law enforcement also made more than 1.5 million arrests for larceny-theft in 2013, according to the FBI. Larceny thefts are defined as the unlawful taking of property away from the possession or construction possession of another. Larceny includes actions such as shoplifting, pick-pocketing, the theft of motor vehicle parts and accessories, or taking any property without force and violence or fraud.

The FBI estimates that law enforcement made about 1.2 million arrests for driving under the influence in 2013.

Of the more than 11 million arrests in 2013, almost 500,000 of them were for violent crimes, including murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. About 1.5 million were for property crimes that include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

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