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Defenses to Violent Crimes

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 What is Violent Crime?

Violent crime is defined as any crime that involves physical harm unlawfully caused by the defendant against the victim. Some violent crimes can also involve threats of harm that are used to accomplish another crime (such as an armed robbery). Due to the seriousness of some violent crimes, they are often associated with strict criminal penalties, such as time in prison or jail, as well as a criminal fine. This is especially true for violent crimes that are classified as felonies.

Some examples of violent crimes may include: assault and battery, aggravated assault and battery, various types of homicide crimes, sexual assault crimes, robbery, and others.

What are Some Defenses to Violent Crimes?

Defenses to violent crimes may include:

  • Self-defense: When the defendant acted to defend himself from bodily harm against the person’s attack. The defendant’s use of force must be in response to as well as proportionate to the threat of harm.
  • Mistake of fact: For instance, if the person’s identity is suspect, or if there was no actual violence involved.
  • Intoxication: Both voluntary and involuntary intoxication may mitigate the punishment for "specific intent" crimes.

The availability of such defenses will depend on state criminal statutes, as well as the facts in each case. Also, some defenses such as intoxication may serve to lower a sentence, but the record will still reflect that the person pleaded an intoxication defense. This might have an effect on any subsequent criminal proceedings that the person might be involved with in the future.

How are Violent Crimes Categorized?

Most states categorize violent crimes according to misdemeanor or felony categories. Misdemeanors involve minor injuries or harm to the victim, whereas felony violent crimes usually involve severe bodily injury (SBI), intent to kill, or the use of a deadly weapon.

Also, it is worth noting that some unintentionally caused injuries may result in violent crime charges. For instance, DUI vehicular homicide cases can result in criminal charges, even if the defendant did not act intentionally to cause harm to the victim.

Should I hire a Lawyer for help with Defenses to Violent Crime charges?

Criminal cases can often involve some very complicated legal concepts and strategies. This is especially true when attempting to raise a defense for violent crime charges. It’s in your best interests to hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer in your area if you need assistance with criminal charges. Your attorney can provide you with the legal representation needed during trial to ensure that your rights as a criminal defendant are being protected.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 10-18-2016 04:11 PM PDT

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