While any arrest would make most people worry, when the crime at issue is a violent crime, even the toughest may shudder. Unlike so-called minor or non-violent crimes, those crimes deemed to be violent typically carry with them substantial penalties, and, in most cases, substantial prison time which may include life in prison or capital punishment. Being accused of any crime, let alone a violent crime, should necessitate the retention of an experienced criminal defense attorney, especially one with experience in violent crimes, to ensure that the defendant can establish as aggressive and effective defense as possible. But, just what is a violent crime? Unfortunately, the answer is not as cut and dry as one would expect. Like the phrase assault weapon, a violent crime may mean different things to different legislatures in different States, as this article illustrates.
California Violent Crimes
Pursuant to California law, the following are deemed to be violent crimes in this state:
- Murder or attempted murder, or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter;
- Mayhem, or deliberately causing a permanent disfigurement of another;
- Rape (including spousal rape), sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual penetration;
- A lewd or lascivious act;
- An act in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on another;
- Domestic violence;
- Kidnapping or false imprisonment;
- Assault with the intent to commit a specified felony, or assault with a deadly weapon;
- Battery or battery on a peace officer
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child;
- Criminal threats; and
- First degree burglary;
Violent crimes are treated with extreme seriousness by the California criminal justice system, and any individual convicted of this kind of crime should expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Since most violent crimes are felonies, it can be expected that any prison term will be greater than one year in a California State prison. Additionally, fines, probation and other court-mandated actions may also be assessed against the convicted individual.
Additionally, although an individual convicted of a violent crime can be expected to spend substantial time in prison, there is an even greater and more devastating consequence that will await the individual upon release from prison. Repercussions of a conviction can extend beyond the penalties themselves. By way of example, convicted individuals may face limited opportunities in both the job and housing markets. Most professional licenses will be revoked, and the ability to obtain such a license after release will be severely curtailed. Most property owners will be hesitant to rent to individuals with a violent crime on his/her record. Additionally, the ability to obtain credit will also be drastically reduced. Finally, in many cases, even if the convicted individual had financial stability prior to conviction, the sheer cost of the trial will most likely deplete this stability, in addition to any fines that are assessed.
It should also be noted that California has a “Three Strikes Law.” According to this law, the conviction of a violent crime may result in an automatic 25-year sentence, with the possibility of extension to a life sentence, if the convicted individual has had prior convictions for other violent crimes.
Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney
If or someone you love has been arrested on suspicion of committing a violent crime, it is essential that you contact the criminal defense attorneys at Manshoory Law Group, APC as soon as possible. The attorneys at our office have years of experience in criminal defense and can use this skill to give you or your loved one truly effective counsel. After an analysis of the circumstances, we will defend you or your loved one in the most aggressive fashion to obtain the best possible outcome. The attorneys there are available 24/7 to take your call. Contact our lawyers today for an initial consultation.