Criminal Justice

In at least four (4) pages, identify a category of crime, provide a specific example of the elements of the offense from your state (or state of your choosing) and discuss the investigative approaches and choices that an investigator would most likely consider when conducting an investigation.

In your paper:

(1) identify the category of crime that you will be exploring: Crimes Against Persons; Crimes Against Property; or Crimes Against Society;

(2) identify at least ONE statute from your state (or state of your choice) associated with that crime category and explain the major elements of that offense that need to be investigated and proven;

(3) discuss the type of crime scene you may encounter with that type of offense and how you would handle that crime scene – will it be a large complex scene with many witnesses, lots of physical evidence, or a small scene with no witnesses, etc; OR is this the type of crime that requires special investigation techniques like confidential informants, undercovers, surveillance, etc?

(4) discuss the type(s) of evidence you are likely to be collecting from that scene – is it mostly witness statements, or forensic evidence like DNA, fingerprints, computer evidence, etc – and how you would best handle that evidence;

(5) for the type(s) of evidence you are collecting, what are the potential challenges you may be expected to overcome? Is contamination an issue? What types of witnesses/victims to you potentially come across that would potentially cause reliability issues?

(6) do you think the type of crime you are investigating will likely lead to search warrants? If so, what would you be searching for, where would it be, and what level of evidence do you need to obtain that search warrant?

(7) for the type of investigation you have selected, discuss the clearance rate of offense in general (see reading below) and give an opinion as to if that rate can be improved or not. If you believe it can be improved, explain what additional resources or techniques would lead to improvement. If you do not believe the clearance rate can be improved, give an opinion as to why not.

NOTE: If you chose to discuss Crimes Against Society, discuss what you think the biggest challenge is associated with detecting/investigating the type of offense you selected and what types of additional resources or techniques could lead to more successful investigations of that type of crime.

READING: Lesson 16 – FBI 2018 UCR Clearance Rates – Violent Crime and Property Crime.pdf


Submission Requirements

  • APA Style elements required
  • Separate Title Page with Name, class, date and topic/title
  • At least four (4) pages of your writing on this topic that includes using in-text citations (NOT including title page and reference page)
  • 12 point font
  • Times New Roman or Arial
  • Separate Reference Page – List detailed source information for all references (NOT JUST LINKS TO WEBSITES)
  • You should include AT LEAST THREE (3) sources in your reference page in your final project. The class text plus two additional sources would be appropriate.

Grading Criteria

  • Review the grading rubric below this assignment to see how it is assessed.

    Uniform Crime Report Crime in the United States, 2018

    Crime in the United States, 2018 U.S. Department of Justice—Federal Bureau of Investigation Released Fall 2019

    Offenses Cleared In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, law enforcement agencies can

    clear, or “close,” offenses in one of two ways: by arrest or by exceptional means.

    Although an agency may administratively close a case, that does not necessarily mean

    that the agency can clear the offense for UCR purposes. To clear an offense within the

    UCR Program’s guidelines, the reporting agency must adhere to certain criteria, which

    are outlined in the following text. (Note: The UCR Program does not distinguish

    between offenses cleared by arrest and those cleared by exceptional means in collecting

    or publishing data via the traditional Summary Reporting System.)

    Cleared by arrest

    In the UCR Program, a law enforcement agency reports that an offense is cleared by

    arrest, or solved for crime reporting purposes, when three specific conditions have been

    met. The three conditions are that at least one person has been:

    • Arrested.

    • Charged with the commission of the offense.

    • Turned over to the court for prosecution (whether following arrest, court

    summons, or police notice).

    In its clearance calculations, the UCR Program counts the number of offenses that are

    cleared, not the number of persons arrested. The arrest of one person may clear several

    crimes, and the arrest of many persons may clear only one offense. In addition, some

    clearances that an agency records in a particular calendar year, such as 2018, may

    pertain to offenses that occurred in previous years.

    Cleared by exceptional means

    In certain situations, elements beyond law enforcement’s control prevent the agency

    from arresting and formally charging the offender. When this occurs, the agency can

    clear the offense exceptionally. Law enforcement agencies must meet the following four

    conditions in order to clear an offense by exceptional means. The agency must have:



    Crime in the United States, 2018 U.S. Department of Justice—Federal Bureau of Investigation Released Fall 2019


    • Identified the offender.

    • Gathered enough evidence to support an arrest, make a charge, and turn over the

    offender to the court for prosecution.

    • Identified the offender’s exact location so that the suspect could be taken into

    custody immediately.

    • Encountered a circumstance outside the control of law enforcement that

    prohibits the agency from arresting, charging, and prosecuting the offender.

    Examples of exceptional clearances include, but are not limited to, the death of the

    offender (e.g., suicide or justifiably killed by police or citizen); the victim’s refusal to

    cooperate with the prosecution after the offender has been identified; or the denial of

    extradition because the offender committed a crime in another jurisdiction and is being

    prosecuted for that offense. In the UCR Program, the recovery of property alone does not

    clear an offense.

    Clearances involving only persons under 18 years of age

    When an offender under the age of 18 is cited to appear in juvenile court or before other

    juvenile authorities, the UCR Program considers the incident for which the juvenile is

    being held responsible to be cleared by arrest, even though a physical arrest may not

    have occurred. When clearances involve both juvenile and adult offenders, those

    incidents are classified as clearances for crimes committed by adults. Because the

    clearance percentages for crimes committed by juveniles include only those clearances in

    which no adults were involved, the figures in this publication should not be used to

    present a definitive picture of juvenile involvement in crime.


    • In the nation in 2018, 45.5 percent of violent crimes and 17.6 percent of property

    crimes were cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

    • When considering clearances of violent crimes, 62.3 percent of murder offenses,

    52.5 percent of aggravated assault offenses, 33.4 percent of rape offenses, and

    30.4 percent of robbery offenses were cleared.



    Crime in the United States, 2018 U.S. Department of Justice—Federal Bureau of Investigation Released Fall 2019


    • Among property crimes, 18.9 percent of larceny-theft offenses, 13.9 percent of

    burglary offenses, and 13.8 percent of motor vehicle theft offenses were cleared.

    • In 2018, 22.4 percent of arson offenses were cleared by arrest or exceptional


    What you won’t find on this page

    Arrest data are not on this page. In its clearance calculations, the UCR Program counts

    the number of offenses that are cleared, not the number of persons arrested.


    • Offenses Cleared
      • Cleared by arrest
      • Cleared by exceptional means
      • Clearances involving only persons under 18 years of age
      • Overview
      • What you won’t find on this page
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