Violent crimes are crimes committed against another person (or sometimes animals). Being convicted of a violent crime can result in hefty fines and jail or prison sentences. You also may be required to undergo an anger management evaluation or psychological evaluation followed by mandatory treatment or anger management classes. In some states, a conviction of certain violent crimes (particularly domestic violence crimes) makes it illegal to own or carry firearms. This can affect certain employment opportunities and recreational activities such as hunting or target shooting. Violent crimes include many different criminal acts such as battery, sexual abuse, robbery and murder. Violent crimes also include criminal acts where the threat of violence was used, even if another person was not touched or physically harmed.
Here is a short list of crimes that are often considered violent crimes:
- Domestic Violence: Any type of physical attack or threat of attack that involves people in a relationship, or happens in front of either person’s minor relatives, will be considered domestic violence. Domestic violence can be as severe as rape or murder, but it also covers pushing, hitting, slapping, and stalking. Domestic violence does not require a marital relationship, but can happen between people who are dating as well as same sex couples.
- Assault and Battery: Assault is the threat physical harm, and battery is the unlawful touching of another person. By definition, these criminal acts are often deemed violent crimes. Whether this type of violent crime is classified as simple or aggravated depends on the seriousness of the attack, the use of deadly weapons and the presence of others. Aggravated assault or battery often carriers more severe penalties than simple assault or battery.
- Hit and Run: While a hit and run itself may not be considered a violent crime if it was an accident, causing physical injury to a person and then leaving the scene of the accident may be considered a violent crime. Hit and run charges can be aggravated or enhanced if the perpetrator was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Stalking: Stalking happens when a perpetrator maliciously, intentionally and repeatedly follows and/or harasses another person. Victims of stalking often fear for their personal safety or that of a close friends or relatives.
- Rape: Rape involves unwanted or non-consensual sexual intercourse whether by means of physical force or coercion. Some types of rape, such as statutory rape with consent of the victim, may not be considered a violent crime.
- Robbery: Robbery is classified as a violent crime because the offender takes the victim’s property through intimidation and/or violence. No matter how small the value of the property may be, or how miniscule the threat may have been, robbery is always considered a violent crime.
- Murder: Murder is the killing of another human being with malice, a reckless disregard for life or killing someone during the commission of certain felonies (like robbery or kidnapping).
- Crimes that are classified as violent crimes may be more aggressively prosecuted and, upon a guilty plea or a conviction, may be more harshly punished. Consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney early in the process is the best way to ensure that you do not plead to a crime you did not commit and to protect your rights throughout the criminal justice process.