What is the most common felony?

What is the Most Common Felony? – Rubin Law


In the United States, crimes are categorized into different levels depending on their severity. One of the most serious categories of crimes is felonies. Felonies are typically punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or even by death in some cases. They include a wide range of offenses, from violent crimes to drug-related offenses.

If you’re curious about the most common felony crimes in the United States, this article will provide an overview of these offenses, their consequences, and relevant statistics. Understanding the prevalence of these crimes can shed light on the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies, legal professionals, and communities as they work towards creating a safer society.

Table of Contents

  • Theft Crimes
  • Drug Crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • White-Collar Crimes
  • Sexual Offenses
  • Consequences of Felony Convictions
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Conclusion

Theft Crimes

Theft crimes are among the most common types of felonies committed in the United States. These offenses involve taking someone else’s property without permission and with the intent to deprive the owner permanently. Some examples of theft crimes include:

  • Robbery: The act of taking property from a person through force or threat.
  • Burglary: Illegally entering a building with the intent to commit a crime, usually theft.
  • Larceny: Stealing someone’s property without using force or fear.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in 2019, there were approximately 6.4 million reported property crimes in the United States. The majority of these crimes were larceny-theft offenses, making it the most common type of theft crime.

Drug Crimes

Drug-related offenses are another prevalent category of felonies in the United States. These crimes involve the possession, manufacturing, trafficking, or distribution of illegal drugs. The severity of drug crimes can vary depending on factors such as the type and quantity of drugs involved.

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on addressing drug addiction as a public health issue rather than solely a criminal matter. However, drug offenses still account for a significant portion of felony convictions in the United States.

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes, which involve physical force or the threat of physical force against another person, are also common felonies. These offenses can cause significant harm to individuals and communities and often result in severe penalties.

Examples of violent crimes include:

  • Homicide: The unlawful killing of another person.
  • Assault: Causing intentional harm or the apprehension of immediate harm to another person.
  • Sexual assault: Non-consensual sexual contact or penetration.

The prevalence of violent crimes varies across different regions and communities. Factors such as socioeconomic conditions, access to education, and community resources can contribute to the occurrence of these offenses.

White-Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes refer to non-violent offenses typically committed in business or professional settings. These crimes are often financially motivated and involve deceit, fraud, or embezzlement.

Examples of white-collar crimes include:

  • Fraud: Intentionally deceiving someone for personal gain, such as insurance fraud or securities fraud.
  • Embezzlement: Misappropriating funds entrusted to one’s care.
  • Identity theft: Using someone else’s personal information without their consent for fraudulent purposes.

White-collar crimes can have significant financial implications and can cause harm to individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole. While they may not involve physical violence, they are considered serious offenses under the law.

Sexual Offenses

Sexual offenses, including rape and sexual assault, are also common felonies in the United States. These crimes involve non-consensual sexual contact or acts perpetrated against another person. They can have severe physical and psychological effects on the victims.

The prevalence of sexual offenses varies widely, and reporting rates for these crimes are often low due to factors such as fear, stigma, and lack of trust in the criminal justice system. However, efforts are being made to raise awareness, improve support for victims, and hold perpetrators accountable.

Consequences of Felony Convictions

Felony convictions can have far-reaching consequences for individuals who commit these crimes. Some of the potential consequences include:

  • Long prison sentences: Felonies often carry lengthy prison terms, which can result in the loss of personal freedom for a significant period.
  • Loss of civil rights: Convicted felons may lose certain civil rights, such as the right to vote or possess firearms.
  • Difficulty finding employment and housing: Having a felony conviction on record can make it challenging to secure employment or find suitable housing.
  • Stigma and social consequences: Felony convictions can result in social stigma and negative perceptions from others, making it harder to reintegrate into society.

It’s important to note that the consequences of felony convictions can vary depending on the specific offense, state laws, and individual circumstances. Seeking legal guidance from an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial for anyone facing felony charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is a felony worse than a misdemeanor?

A: Yes, felonies are generally considered more serious than misdemeanors. Felonies carry harsher penalties, including longer prison sentences and more severe fines.

Q: Can a felony be expunged?

A: The possibility of expunging a felony conviction depends on the laws of the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred. In some cases, certain felony offenses may be eligible for expungement or sealing after a specified period and meeting certain criteria.


Understanding the most common felony crimes in the United States provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies, legal professionals, and communities. Theft crimes, drug crimes, violent crimes, white-collar crimes, and sexual offenses are among the prevalent categories of felonies. These offenses have significant consequences for individuals involved and can impact the safety and well-being of communities as a whole. By addressing the underlying causes of these crimes and implementing effective prevention and intervention strategies, society can work towards reducing the prevalence of felonies and creating a safer environment for everyone.