Violent Crimes

Violent Crimes

A violent crime is any criminal offense, which involves the use of, or even the threat of force or violence. Violent crime is a broad legal category that encompasses a number of criminal offences. The United States Department of Justice divides violent crime into five categories:

A violent crime can involve an act whereby violence is the objective (as in murder) or it may be a means to an end (as in robbery). A violent crime may or may not involve the threat or use of a weapon.

According to national statistics, the incidence of violent crime has decreased by as much as fifty percent since the early 1990s. Twenty-two people for every thousand were the victims of a violent crime in 2003, compared to fifty-one victims for every thousand Americans in 1994. The federal government estimates that approximately 1.8 million serious violent crime cases were committed in 2003 alone. In all categories of violent crime except for rape, males are the victims and the offenders more often than females are.

Assault is the most common type of violent crime that is committed in the United States. Assault can have varying levels of severity depending on the specific facts of a case. By definition, the violent crime of assault is the intentional threat or use of force or violence against another person. Actual physical contact is not required to constitute assault; the mere threat is sufficient. Assault violent crime charges can range from simple assault to aggravated assault. In less serious cases, assault may be charged as a misdemeanor, though it is often a felonious violent crime. Battery is a similar crime which involves actual physical contact with the victim.

Sexual assault is another category of violent crime that is perpetrated in our nation. Sexual assault is the violent crime of committing some non-consensual sexual act against a person. Rape is the crime of forcible or non-consensual sexual intercourse with another individual. Victims of rape and other sexual violent crime are least likely to encounter an armed offender.

Victims of robbery are the most likely to face an armed offender. Perpetrators of robbery are in possession of a weapon more than fifty percent of the time they commit this violent crime. The possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime will often enhance the penalties the defendant will later face. Statistics show that approximately one in four violent crime offenders use a firearm to carry out their crime.

If a person has been convicted of a violent felony crime, they are typically prohibited from possessing a weapon. If they are involved in a subsequent weapons or violent crime after felony conviction they may be charged with the crime of carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) or felony firearm offenses . Each state has their created unique laws about these offenses.

Homicide is a serious violent crime which has the most complex classification in the criminal system. For example, homicide charges can be assigned degrees based on the severity of the offense. The crimes of murder, justifiable homicide, and manslaughter are some of the common types of homicide-related violent crime.

When a person is charged with a felonious violent crime, they face incarceration, fines, probation, restitution, community service, and other penalties. For more serious violent crime, such as a capital offense, the defendant may even face death. In most cases the defendant in a violent crime case has the right to a legal defense. The help of a professional attorney is crucial for any person who has been charged of a violent offense. Contact a qualified and experienced attorney in your area who can evaluate your case to determine how best to protect and maximize your legal rights.

Related Violent Crime News 

March 12, 2007 - Study: Big-City Murder Up 10% Since 2004 

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