Top Myths and Misconceptions About Criminal Justice

Top Myths and Misconceptions About Criminal Justice

What do you know about criminal justice? If you have never been involved in “the system,” the things you believe you know may consist of what you have read online, in the newspaper and in magazines. You may even believe some of the things you see on television and in movies. Much of what people believe to be true about the criminal justice system are actually misconceptions. Here are the top myths surrounding criminal justice.

1. Crime Is Getting Worse

It’s easy to believe that crime is getting worse. Turn on the evening news and the feature stories will detail terrible events in and around your neighborhood. The truth of the matter is that crime is at its lowest. Studies have shown that if you are over 40 years old, you are safer today than you have been in the past.

2. It Is Safer in the ‘Burbs

People move to the suburbs not only to get away from the fast pace of the city, but to get away from crime. It certainly may be true that some suburbs are safer than larger cities but, for the most part, you are just as safe — if not more safe — staying in the city.

3. Data Systems are Enormous and Efficient

When you watch a television show or movie, you see criminal investigators running information through a handful of data systems that spit out a suspect’s name in minutes. This is not accurate. Law enforcement officers do have access to some data, but it’s much easier to find a known suspect than an unknown one, and it is incredibly rare to have information returned in mere moments.

4. DNA and Fingerprints Are Crime Busters

This has been made popular by television as well. It seems that a single smudge of a fingerprint is enough to solve a crime, even if it is decades old. Coupled with DNA, it seems as though genetic information is a foolproof method for solving almost any crime. Not the case, say law enforcement experts. Less than one percent of all serious crimes are cracked using DNA, and fingerprints are not much more helpful.

4. Serial Killers Running Loose

Serial killers are a concern, but a minor one as far as who you have to be on the lookout for. Serial killers do exist, but they are an extremely rare breed. They seem to be surrounding us only because their stories are sensational and make all of the news outlets’ top stories. In reality, only about one percent of all murders are perpetrated by serial killers.

There are also misconceptions about what you should and shouldn’t do after an arrest, which you can read about here. If you are arrested for a crime in Atlanta, you have options available to you that you may not be aware of. Reach out to the team at Hawkins Spizman Kilgo to discover more about your legal rights in court and to begin the process of putting together your defense. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

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