What Is a Violent Crime Under the Law?
Violent crimes are those that are heinous in nature and often involve intentional harm that has been inflicted upon another individual during the commission of a crime. Violent crimes do not have to involve the intent to harm, though they can include the threat of intentional harm. The majority of violent crimes are charged as felonies, and they are considered one of the most serious crimes – which is why they carry harsher sentences and penalties, including at least one year in prison.
The FBI’s statistics state that there were approximately 1,246,248 violent crimes in the United States in 2010. Aggravated assaults accounted for the highest percentage of those violent crimes – about 62.5 percent. Robbery comprised 29.5 percent of those violent crimes, while forcible rape accounted for 6.8 percent and murder made up 1.2 percent of the violent crimes reported in 2010.
Examples of Violent Crimes
There are numerous types of crimes that could be classified as “violent,” but some of the more common include:
- Armed robbery
- Domestic violence
- Gang crimes
Examples of Non-Violent Offenses
Some crimes can be particularly heinous in nature, but they are not necessary violent. Some examples of non-violent offenses include:
- Property crimes
- Drug or alcohol-related crimes – including DUIs
- Fraud or tax crimes
- White collar crimes
There are, however, instances where non-violent crimes can be raised to the level of a violent crime. For example, in a fraud case, which is a non-violent crime, some violence could be involved if a person was threatened and/or coerced into handing over funds. In this case, the crime could be considered “violent,” even if no physical violence actually occurred.
Punishments of Violent Crimes
Non-violent and violent crimes both carry harsh punishments, but in general violent crimes carry stiffer penalties than those that are non-violent, though there are some non-violent crimes that can be punished more strictly as well – depending on the circumstances of that particular case.
Typically, non-violent crimes are met with short jail sentences and probation. Violent crimes, on the other hand, involve longer prison sentences, restitution, and parole (after the prison sentence has been served).
Defense Matters in a Violent Crime
If you are being accused of a violent crime it is imperative that you seek legal counsel. One of our attorneys can provide defenses for your violent or non-violent case, and our tactics will vary depending on the circumstances. If you have been arrested or you are a suspect of a violent crime, speak with an attorney at The Armstrong Law Group, P.A. today at 904-356-8618, or fill out an online contact form with your questions.