Violent crimes are crimes that involve serious physical harm or death to another person. Violent crimes have severe consequences and convictions usually result in lengthy prison sentences. Violent crimes are also the most aggressively prosecuted crimes. In many cases, a conviction requires a mandatory minimum prison sentence. An experienced criminal defense attorney is vital to protecting your rights if you are charged with a violent crime. Rosenblatt Law provides superior criminal defense representation to clients in both New York and New Jersey criminal cases.
Types of Violent Crimes
Violent crimes involve bodily harm to another individual. Examples of violent crimes include assault, domestic violence, homicide, rape, and hate crimes. If the state charges you with any of these crimes, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can independently investigate the allegations and represent your interests.
Assault is a crime that requires the intent to cause serious physical injury to another person. Almost any intentional contact between persons may give rise to assault charges, but the method and severity of contact or injury will determine the level of charge that may result. Another important factor in an assault case is whether or not the perpetrator used a weapon in order to commit the assault. The key is often whether the perpetrator intended to cause serious bodily harm or, in some cases, acted without regard to human life.
Domestic violence is generally defined as an assault occurring between people in specific types of relationships. Domestic violence involves causing a serious physical injury or threatening to cause a serious bodily injury to a family or household member, including a person in a romantic relationship or a minor child.
Homicide includes crimes resulting in the death of another, such as first-degree and second-degree murder. First-degree murder occurs when a person causes another person’s death with the intent to kill another and the opportunity to reflect on the intent–often known as premeditation. Second-degree murder occurs when a person causes another person’s death, and death occurs without the pre-formed intent to kill. Other homicides can happen by accident or without intent to kill. Regardless, homicide is the most serious violent crime with the longest prison sentences imposed upon conviction.
Manslaughter most commonly occurs when a person recklessly causes the death of another person or commits second-degree murder in the heat of passion–for example, killing someone in a blinding rage. The crime of manslaughter recognizes that not all deaths caused by another are intentional or that even if the death is intentional, it may be the result of a heat of the moment situation in which extreme rage prevailed.
Rape is commonly defined as forcible sexual penetration. The key to rape is that sexual activity occurs without the consent of the victim. Rape is a violent crime because it usually involves restraint, coercion, or the use of a deadly weapon and can result in serious bodily injury.
Defenses to Violent Crimes
Many violent crimes involve the element of intent, meaning the accused meant for the result of the crime to occur or knew that the result would occur. One defense to intent-related crimes is showing the accused did not act with knowledge that the outcome would result. Intent is often the most challenging element for the prosecution to prove because it requires showing a defendant’s subjective thoughts. Many criminal charges are dismissed or reduced because the prosecution cannot prove a defendant’s intent. Other defenses to violent crimes relate to the prosecution’s failure to meet all the elements of the crime or a mistake or misunderstanding under the circumstances.
Other defenses may include procedural defenses, such as challenges to witness identification, lack of probable cause, and other procedural violations by police. An experienced attorney can assist in defending criminal charges on both substantive and procedural grounds.
Consequences of a Violent Crime Conviction
In addition to prison or jail sentences, a violent crime conviction may include other serious consequences. Violent crimes are often classified as felonies, the most serious type of criminal offense. Punishment for felonies may consist of fines, probation, and registry on the state’s sexual offender registration, and the loss of civil liberties, in addition to prison.
Criminal courts in New Jersey can order payment of fines of up to $200,000 for first degree felonies or indictable offenses, while New York fines can be as heavy as $100,000 for first-degree felonies.
In addition to serving jail time, criminal sentences can include probation, as an alternative to, or as a condition of a jail sentence. Probation is a supervisory program that monitors and places conditions on a person’s behavior and activities after release from prison. Probation requires routine check-ins with a probation officer who monitors, among other things, employment, living situations, and drug and alcohol use.
Loss of Rights & Felony Label
Many states have laws that limit the rights of citizens convicted of a felony. Both New York and New Jersey prevent convicted felons from voting, serving on a jury, or running for public office. There are also limitations on gun ownership for persons who have been convicted of crimes. Additionally, those convicted of sexual offenses often must register as a sex offender, limiting places convicted felons can live, locations they can work or visit, or with whom they may associate.
Being a convicted felon can also make finding a job once out of prison difficult. Most employers require a criminal background check or require applicants to disclose whether they are a convicted felon. A criminal conviction can be an immediate disqualifier. Other normal activities, such as renting an apartment or volunteering at a child’s school, can be limited by a criminal conviction, as well.
Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Every criminal case is different, and Rosenblatt Law PC cannot guarantee the outcome of your case. However, having an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you and protecting your rights is crucial to a better outcome in any criminal case. If you are charged with a violent crime in New York or New Jersey, Rosenblatt Law PC can explain the process to you and fight to protect your rights. Contact Rosenblatt Law PC today to discuss your case.