FBI UCR Definitions

The FBI's Uniform Crime Rates mandates all voluntarily reported crimes classified into eight (8) categories.

Murder (Includes Negligent & Non-Negligent Manslaughter)

  • Criminal Homicide-Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter
  • Definition: The willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another. As a general rule, any death caused by injuries received in a fight, argument, quarrel, assault, or commission of a crime is classified as Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter.

Rape (Includes Attempts to Commit Forcible Rape)

  • Definition: Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
  • This definition includes either gender of victim or offender. Sexual penetration means the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, or by a sex­ related object. This definition also includes instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol) or because of age. Physical resistance is not required on the part of the victim to demonstrate lack of consent.

Robbery (Includes Firearm, Knife, Other Dangerous Weapon, Strong Arm)

  • Definition: The taking or attempting to take 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.
  • Robbery is a type of theft committed in the presence of the victim. The victim is directly confronted by the offender and is threatened with force or is put in fear that force will be used. Robbery involves a theft or larceny but is aggravated by the element of force or threat of force.
  • Because some type of assault is an element of the crime of Robbery, an assault is not reported as a separate crime as long as it was performed in furtherance of the Robbery. Additionally, the Hierarchy Rule would preclude reporting assault. However, if the injury results in death, a homicide offense is reported, as per the Hierarchy Rule.
  • Armed Robbery, includes incidents commonly referred to as stickups, hijackings, holdups, heists, carjackings, etc. Carjackings are Robbery offenses in which a motor vehicle is taken through force or threat of force. In such cases, following the Hierarchy Rule, agencies report only a Robbery, not a motor vehicle theft. Robberies wherein only personal weapons, such as hands, fists, and feet, are used or threatened to be used may be referred to as strong-arms or muggings.
  • The UCR Program considers a weapon to be a commonly known weapon (a gun, knife, club, etc.) or any other item which, although not usually thought of as a weapon, becomes one in the commission of a crime. Reporting agencies classify crimes involving pretended weapons or those in which the weapon is not seen by the victim, but the Robbery claims to possess one, as armed Robbery. Should an immediate on-view arrest prove that there is no weapon involved, the agency classifies the offense as strong-arm Robbery.
  • Law enforcement guards against using terminology such as "a house was robbed" or "safe Robbery" when classifying a Robbery offense. For UCR purposes, the term Robbery in these situations is actually referring to burglary offenses.
  • Robbery-Firearm includes Robberies and attempts in which any firearm is used as a weapon or employed as a means of force to threaten the victim or put the victim in fear.
  • The category Robbery-Knife or Cutting Instrument, includes Robberies and attempts in which a knife, broken bottle, razor, ice pick, or other cutting or stabbing instrument is employed as a weapon or as a means of force to threaten the victim or put the victim in fear.
  • The category Robbery-Other Dangerous Weapon, includes Robberies in which a club, acid, explosive, brass knuckles, Mace®, pepper spray, stun guns, Tasers®, or other dangerous weapon is employed or its use is threatened. Attempts are included in this category.
  • The category of Robbery-Strong-arm Hands. Fists, Feet. etc., includes muggings and similar offenses in which only personal weapons such as hands, arms, feet, fists, and teeth are employed or their use is threatened to deprive the victim of possessions.
  • In the absence of force or threat of force, as in pocket-picking or purse-snatching, the offense is classified as larceny-theft rather than Robbery. However, if in a purse­ snatching or other such crime, force or threat of force is used to overcome the active resistance of the victim, the offense is classified as Robbery-Strong-arm.

Assault (Includes Firearm, Knife, Other Dangerous Weapon, Hands, Fist, Feet, Etc., & Attempts)

  • Definition: An unlawful attack by one person upon another. Agencies participating in the UCR Program collect assault information on the offenses that are aggravated in nature, as well as on those that are not. Assaults that are not aggravated are classified by the FBI UCR Program as Other Assaults-Simple, Not Aggravated.

Aggravated Assault

  • Definition: 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.

Aggravated Assault - Firearm

  • The category Aggravated Assault-Firearm, includes all assaults in which a firearm of any type is used or is threatened to be used. Assaults with revolvers, automatic pistols, shotguns, zip guns, rifles, etc. are included in this category.

Aggravated Assault - Knife or Cutting Instrument

  • The category Aggravated Assault-Knife or Cutting Instrument, includes assaults wherein weapons such as knives, razors, hatchets, axes, cleavers, scissors, glass, broken bottles, arrows, and ice picks are used as cutting or stabbing objects or their use is threatened.

Aggravated Assault - Other Dangerous Weapon

  • The category Aggravated Assault-Other Dangerous Weapon, includes assaults resulting from the use or threatened use of any object as a weapon in which serious injury does or could result. The weapons in this category include, but are not limited to, Mace®, pepper spray, clubs, bricks, jack handles, tire irons, bottles, or other blunt instruments used to club or beat victims. Attacks by explosives, acid, lye, poison, scalding, burnings, BB guns, pellet guns, Tasers®, stun guns, etc. are also included in this category.

Aggravated Assault - Hands, Fists, Feet, Etc., Aggravated Injury

  • The category Aggravated Assault-Hands, Fists. Feet, etc.-Aggravated Injury includes only the attacks using personal weapons such as hands, arms, feet, fists, and teeth, that result in serious or aggravated injury. Reporting agencies are to consider the seriousness of the injury as the primary factor in establishing whether the assault is aggravated or simple. The assault is aggravated if the personal injury is serious, for example, there are broken bones, internal injuries, or stitches required. Conversely, the. offense is considered simple assault if the injuries are not serious (abrasions, minor lacerations, or contusions) and require no more than usual first-aid treatment.

Other Assaults - Simple, Not Aggravated

  • The category Other Assaults-Simple, Not Aggravated, includes 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 assault is not a Part I offense-it is a Part II offense but is collected under as a quality control matter and for the purpose of looking at total assault violence. Agencies classify simple assault for offenses such as assault and battery, injury caused by culpable negligence, intimidation, coercion, and all attempts to commit these offenses.
  • Under certain circumstances, offenses of disorderly conduct, domestic violence, or affray is classified as simple assault.

Burglary (Includes Attempts, Forced Entry, No Forced Entry)

  • Burglary-Breaking or Entering
    • Forcible Entry
    • Unlawful Entry-no force
    • Attempted Forcible Entry
  • Definition: The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. The UCR Program classifies offenses locally known as burglary (any degree), unlawful entry with intent to commit a larceny or felony, breaking and entering with intent to commit a larceny, housebreaking, safecracking, and all attempts at these offenses as burglary.

Larceny (General, From Autos, Bicycles, Shoplifting)

  • Larceny-Theft
    • Pocket-picking
    • Purse-snatching
    • Shoplifting
    • Thefts from Motor Vehicles
    • Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories
    • Theft of Bicycles
    • Theft from Buildings
    • Thefts from Coin-operated Device or Machine
  • Definition: The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Constructive possession is "control or dominion over a property without actual possession or custody of it."
  • Larceny and theft are synonymous in the UCR Program. All thefts and attempted thefts are included in this category with one exception: motor vehicle theft. Because of the high volume of motor vehicle thefts, this crime has its own offense category.
  • For the UCR Program, agencies report local offense classifications such as grand theft, petty larceny, felony larceny, or misdemeanor larceny as larceny-theft. Also, agencies report all larceny offenses regardless of the value of the property stolen.
  • Agencies do not classify larceny offenses of embezzlement, fraudulent conversion of entrusted property, conversion of goods lawfully possessed by bailees, lodgers, or finders of lost property, counterfeiting, obtaining money by false pretenses, larceny by check, larceny by bailee, or check fraud. Each of these crimes falls within one of the Part II offense categories.

Motor Vehicle Theft

  • Types
    • Autos
    • Trucks and Buses
    • Other Vehicles
  • Definition: The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. Motor Vehicle Theft includes the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle, which the UCR Program defines as a self-propelled vehicle that runs on land surface and not on rails, for example, sport utility vehicles, automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, motor scooters, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles are classified as motor vehicles. This category does not include farm equipment, bulldozers, airplanes, construction equipment, or water craft (motorboats, sailboats, houseboats, or jet skis). Taking a vehicle for temporary use when prior authority has been granted or can be assumed such as in family situations, rental car agreements, or unauthorized use by chauffeurs and others having lawful access to the vehicle is not classified as motor vehicle thefts.

Arson (Structural, Auto)

  • Definition: 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.
  • Agencies report as arson only fires determined through investigation to have been willfully or maliciously set. Attempts to burn are included in this offense, but fires of suspicious or unknown origins are not. Agencies classify one offense for each distinct arson operation originating within the reporting jurisdiction. If arson is perpetrated in one locale and spreads to another, the jurisdiction in which the fire originated reports it.