Violent crimes occur when the offender uses or threatens to use violent force against the victim. This may involve a crime in which the violent act is the purpose of the crime, such as murder. It may also include crimes such as robbery, where the violence is a means to an end. The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense offices offer numerous locations throughout the country where our lawyers can assist in your defense if you have been charged with a violent crime.
Capital punishment (the death penalty) for a violent crime is most often the penalty for murder. It can, however be the punishment for rape, kidnapping, armed robbery, and treason. Under special circumstances such as the killing of a police officer, torture of another human being, or the dismemberment of a human body, capital punishment may automatically be the sentence if the offender is found guilty. This sentence may differ from one state to the next because 13 states in the country have abolished capital punishment.
Violent crimes do not necessarily involve the use of a weapon. Any method of using force against another person is considered a violent crime. Crimes that fall under this category include any of the following actions:
Murder is the unlawful killing, with intent, of another human being. Intent is also defined as malice aforethought, which means that the offender is aware that his/her actions will likely cause death or serious injury. One or more of the following conditions must occur to be deemed malice aforethought:
- Intent to kill
- Intent to inflict serious bodily harm
- Reckless indifference
- Intent to commit a dangerous felony
Manslaughter is considered to be a lesser crime than murder. There are three main categories of manslaughter which include:
- Voluntary manslaughter – unwarranted killing of another person without the existence of malice
- Involuntary manslaughter – reckless or criminal negligence results in death, but the death was not intended
- Vehicular manslaughter – a motor vehicle accident results in death caused by negligence which often involves the use of alcohol or drugs by the offender
If someone dies because they did not receive life-sustaining care from the person responsible for them, the crime is negligent homicide. This usually relates to infants, elderly, or handicapped persons. The offender does not intentionally kill the victim, however the argument is that the death could have been prevented if the offender had acted differently.
The willful infliction of severe bodily injury upon another person is the definition of assault (this includes domestic violence). In a case of aggravated assault, a deadly weapon is involved in the commission of the crime. The consequences for an assault conviction may include several different penalties depending on the severity of the charges.
Kidnapping is the detaining or taking of a person against their will. This is often related to seizing of children, but the charge can relate to a victim of any age. The accused must have voluntarily, knowingly and with intent held the victim against their will. One common form of kidnapping is committed when one parent who has taken a child into their custody in direct violation of a court order.
There are three varying degrees of arson. The first is where the offender causes a fire resulting in serious bodily injury or death of another human being. The second degree involves no bodily injury, but takes place where people live, work or do business. Third degree arson involves some structures, personal property, vehicles or watercraft. The varying degrees of arson each carry individual sentencing depending on the severity of the crime.
Domestic Abuse/Child Abuse
Domestic abuse and child abuse both are extremely sensitive topics which involve the mistreatment and control of a spouse, co-inhabitant or child. The abuse may come in any number of forms including: assault, battery, threats of physical and emotional abuse, harassment, stalking, verbal abuse or social isolation.
If you have been charged with any violent crime, regardless of the nature, you need highly skilled and dedicated attorneys on your side who will fight to prove your innocence. Any violent crime is a serious accusation that may damage your reputation and adversely affect the rest of your life. Don’t entrust your freedom to just anyone. Please call or email The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense attorneys today.