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Violent Crime Defenses

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What Counts as a Violent Crime?

A violent crime is any crime involving the injuring or disfiguring of another person. In most cases, these involve intentional acts leading to injury. However, some violent crime may involve unintentional acts, or acts that were intended for other persons. Violent crimes often result in either misdemeanor or felony charges. The seriousness of the crime is often based on factors such as:

  • The degree of injury involved
  • The physical build and makeup of the assailant compared with the victim
  • Whether or not a weapon was used
  • Other factors such as intoxication

What Are Some Examples of Violent Crime?

Some examples of violent crime include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Assault or battery with the use of a weapon
  • Various homicide crimes
  • Rape and other sexual assault crimes
  • Crimes involving the intentional use of a motor vehicle as a weapon (a form of assault)
  • Other crimes like kidnapping or robbery

Some crimes, such as robbery, often do not need to involve physical contact. Sometimes the threat of harm is enough to result in criminal charges. Even the use of fake weapons can lead to criminal charges, especially if the victim had a reasonable belief that the weapon was real and that they would be harmed.

What Are Some Violent Crime Defenses?

Some defenses for violent crimes include:

  • Self-Defense: Here, the use of force by the defendant must be proportional to the force being used against them; also, the defendant cannot be the aggressor or initiator of the violence
  • Intoxication: This can sometimes be a defense, especially if the intoxication negated the defendant’s ability to control their intentions (and especially if the intoxication was involuntary)
  • Defense of Property: This can sometimes be a defense; using force to defend property is generally only a defense if the trespasser was using force against the property owner

There may be other defenses available, but this will depend upon the facts of the case. Also, criminal defense laws may vary by state or even by jurisdiction, which can alter the way a defense applies to a case.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Violent Crime Defenses?

Violent crime often involves very serious criminal penalties, such as fines or jail time. You may wish to hire a criminal defense lawyer if you are involved in a criminal case for violent crime. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice on the criminal laws in your area. Also, your lawyer can help determine whether there are any defenses that apply to your situation.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 07-25-2016 09:57 PM PDT

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