In WalletHub's recent ranking of safest places to live in the United States, California was placed in the lower (more dangerous) half at slot 32.
It's no wonder the state received a 46 out of 50 ranking for "Personal residential safety," considering that violent crime in California has increased in recent years, according to the California Department of Justice.
How much has violent crime rates increased by?
The report shows a 1.5 percent increase in the violent crime rate per 100,000 individuals between 2016 and 2017.
Arrest rates for violent offenses increased by 1.9 percent and homicide and robbery arrest rates increased by 4.3 and 6.6 percent.
How does California violent crime rates compare to the rest of the country?
Between 2016 and 2017, California had the 15th highest violent crime rate across the United States, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. This surpassed the national average.
What are the top violent offenses committed in California?
Over the course of 2017, the top violent crime committed in the state of California was aggravated assault with 105,391 cases per 100,000 individuals, followed by robbery with 56,609 cases per every 100,000 individuals.
What are the penalties for aggravated assault?
An assault is defined as an attempt to unlawfully cause a violent injury to another person. Charges can be heightened to aggravated assault depending on the circumstances surrounding the attempted violence. For example, an intent to commit a felony or the use of a deadly weapon may cause an aggravating circumstance.
Penalties for a regular assault may include misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to six months in county jail or a fine up to $1,000 or probation or restitution to the victim or any combination of these penalties.
If the assault was aggravated, it could result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances of the crime and your defense in court. A felony counts as a "strike" under California's notorious Three Strikes Law, which could lead to an automatic sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Seek help for aggravated assault charges
If you or someone you know is facing charges for assault, aggravated assault or another violent crime, it's important to gain the guidance of a criminal defense attorney. With the "Three Strike" law in play, a good defense strategy could mean the difference between how you spend your next 25 years.