Any crime resulting in another person’s injury or deformity is considered violent. These typically include deliberate actions that cause harm. However, some violent crimes may entail negligent behavior or actions that mean harm to someone else. Misdemeanor or felony charges are frequently brought concerning violent crimes.
- The severity of the offense
- The extent of the damage
- The difference between the attacker’s and the victim’s physical characteristics
- Whether a weapon was used or not
- Other elements, such as intoxication
The classification of violent and non-violent offenses under state laws varies. Violent crimes or violent criminal offenses typically involve using force and physically harming another person’s body. The extent of the victim’s bodily harm is frequently used to gauge how serious a violent crime is.
As an illustration, consider how some states may apply harsher punishments for offenses that result in substantial bodily harm or injury. Employing a weapon, particularly one designated as a lethal weapon, may increase the severity of the offense.
Even though the victim was unharmed, some offenses may still count as violent crimes. Another factor that could change the severity of the accusations is the victim’s characteristics. A police officer, a woman, or a child as victims would be examples of this. The qualities of the victim will probably lead to higher charges against the criminal.
A violent crime includes some violence. Under specific conditions, threats of harm can also be categorized as violent crimes, particularly when they are urgent and induce real apprehension. Because the victim of a violent crime does not suffer harm, violent crimes are frequently contrasted with other crimes, such as property crimes.
A violent offense may be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor. Nevertheless, some crimes, including murder, will always be considered felonies. Threats of harm may also qualify as violent crimes if the intended victim reasonably fears suffering bodily harm.
Violent crime can often be classified as inadvertent behavior. An illustration of this would be homicide due to a DUI, which happens when a drunk driver kills someone inadvertently due to intoxicated driving. The particulars of your case and the jurisdiction will significantly impact whether this will be classified as a violent crime.
What Kinds of Violent Crimes Are There?
Here are a few instances of violent crime:
- Usage of a weapon in an assault or battery
- Crimes involving sexual assault and rape
- Crimes that include the deliberate use of a vehicle as a weapon (a form of assault)
- Other offenses, including robbery and kidnapping
Robberies, for example, don’t always require physical contact to be committed. Criminal charges can sometimes be brought simply by the threat of injury if the victim had a good faith expectation that the weapon was real and that they would be harmed. Even the use of phony weapons could result in charges.
What Takes Place After a Violent Crime Charge?
The next stage of the process is being arraigned if you are accused of a violent offense. Furthermore, a judge will order you to remain in custody until your trial unless you post bail. Or, if sooner, until your lawsuit is otherwise settled. If you and your attorney decide that trial is the best course of action, you will go on with the trial and offer your defense. Your lawyer might be able to bargain for a plea agreement on your behalf.
The sentencing phase would begin if the case went to trial and you were found guilty of a violent offense. Criminal sentences differ from state to state; generally speaking, you will continue to learn what the punishment for your actions will be under the law. This is the sentencing phase, which is distinct from the part of the trial where guilt or innocence is decided.
Regardless of how the process may vary on the state level, the way sentencing works in the U.S. on the federal level is that there will be a penalty after a criminal conviction. There are varying levels of crimes, from minor infractions to aggravated felonies, so there are also many different levels of potential criminal sentences.
What Penalties Apply to Violent Crime?
As was already mentioned, the severity of the charges determines how much time is spent in prison for violent crimes. The most frequent examples of this are:
- The type of crime
- The severity of the victim’s injuries
- The presence of aggravating circumstances, such as the use of a lethal weapon, and
- The characteristics of the victim.
For more serious felonies, including murder or kidnapping, a prison term of five to ten years (or more) is typical, along with higher criminal fines. Simple battery is an example of a less serious offense that may be tried as a misdemeanor. Lesser criminal fines and a sentence of less than a year in jail would follow.
It’s vital to understand that your sentencing will follow the guidelines set forth by your state’s criminal code. This indicates that you cannot be punished if the law prohibits it. Only twenty-eight states permit the use of the death penalty, which is reserved for the most serious crimes like murder. Loss of the right to bear arms and making amends are two more penalties.
What Are Some Defenses Against Violent Crime?
Among the protections against violent crimes are the following:
- Self-defense: In this case, the defendant’s use of force must be proportionate to the force being used against them; additionally, the defendant must be the one who initiates the violence or the aggressor.
- Intoxication: This is occasionally a defense, particularly if it rendered the defendant incapable of controlling their intents (and especially if the intoxication was involuntary)
Using force to defend property is typically only effective if the trespasser also uses force against the owner.
Other defenses might be possible, but this will depend on the case’s specifics. Additionally, criminal defense rules may differ by state or even jurisdiction, changing how a defense will be used in a particular case.
For a Violent Crime, am I Eligible for Parole or Probation?
The early release of a defendant is a component of parole in criminal punishment. State regulations on parole differ, but generally speaking, a convicted individual must serve at least a third of their initial sentence before becoming eligible for release. The “parolee,” or free person, can then rejoin society.
This frequently takes place with restrictions and is overseen by a parole officer. The parolee might need to fulfill specific conditions, such as refraining from criminal activity, scheduling regular meetings with their parole supervisor, and carrying out deeds of community service. For less serious offenses and juvenile offenders, parole is frequently used and is comparable to probation.
Do I Need Legal Assistance for Violent Crimes Defenses?
Very severe criminal punishments, such as fines or jail time, are frequently imposed for violent crimes. You may want to engage a criminal defense attorney in your area if you are charged with a violent offense.
Your lawyer can give you legal counsel regarding local criminal statutes. Additionally, your attorney can assist in identifying any defenses that might be applicable in your case. They can also keep you updated if there are any changes to the law that might affect the outcome of your case.