Violent crimes refer to criminal offenses that involve causing death, serious injury, or bodily harm. Bodily contact does not need to result in a serious injury to be included as a violent crime. This may even include crimes where the threat of force is used even if the victim was never injured.
Many violent crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. These charges and can result in serious jail time or even life in prison. In addition, the penalties for a violent crime can include fines, treatment, prohibitions on where someone can go and who they can talk to, and could even result in designation as a sex offender. Some violent crimes include:
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Battery on a Police Officer
- Domestic Violence
- Weapons Charges
- False Imprisonment
- Criminal Threats
- Hate Crimes
- Sex Crimes
Assault and Battery
Assault is the unlawful attempt of an individual to cause harm, injury, or death to another person. Battery is the unlawful and violent use of force against another person with the intent to cause injury, harm, or death. Assault and battery are separate offenses but can be charged together, depending on the situation.
The penalties for assault and/or battery depend on a number of factors, including the seriousness of the injury, the defendant's criminal history, whether a weapon was used, and the victim of the assault.
Domestic violence involves threats or acts of violence to members of the same household or those in a certain relationship, including spouses, children, roommates, relatives or boyfriends and girlfriends. In many cases, a domestic violence call will result in a mandatory arrest of at least one person. The penalties for domestic violence can include jail time, fines, mandatory batterer's treatment, reimbursement of counseling costs, and restraining orders.
Simply the unlawful possession of an illegal weapon or firearm can result in criminal charges. However, a violent crime that involves a firearm or dangerous weapon can result in enhanced penalties.
Extortion involves threatening someone to get money or something of value. This includes using fear of physical harm or force against an individual or their family. Extortion is a felony offense in California with penalties including jail time and fines.
Sex crimes that involve violence or the use of force are generally treated as felony offenses. This can result in prison time, fines, and require registration as a sex offender. Violent sex crimes can include sexual assault or battery, rape, or sexual abuse.
Violent crimes could also include hate crime criminal enhancements if the crime was motivated by the victim's race, nationality, or sexual orientation.
Three Strike Law Violent Felonies
California's “Three Strikes Law,” can result in life in prison for anyone convicted of three serious or violent felonies. Under California Penal Code 667.5, a violent felony, for the purposes of the Three Strikes law, includes:
- Murder or voluntary manslaughter.
- Rape as defined in paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 or paragraph (1) or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 262.
- Sodomy as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 286.
- Oral copulation as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 288a.
- Lewd or lascivious act as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 288.
- Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.
- Any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice which has been charged and proved as provided for in Section 12022.7, 12022.8, or 12022.9 on or after July 1, 1977, or as specified prior to July 1, 1977, in Sections 213, 264, and 461, or any felony in which the defendant uses a firearm which use has been charged and proved as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 12022.3, or Section 12022.5 or 12022.55.
- Any robbery.
- Arson, in violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 451.
- Sexual penetration as defined in subdivision (a) or (j) of Section 289.
- Attempted murder.
- A violation of Section 12308, 12309, or 12310.
- Assault with the intent to commit a specified felony, in violation of Section 220.
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5.
- Carjacking, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 215.
- Rape, spousal rape, or sexual penetration, in concert, in violation of Section 264.1.
- Extortion, as defined in Section 518, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.
- Threats to victims or witnesses, as defined in Section 136.1, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.
- Any burglary of the first degree, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 460, wherein it is charged and proved that another person, other than an accomplice, was present in the residence during the commission of the burglary.
- Any violation of Section 12022.53.
- A violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11418. The Legislature finds and declares that these specified crimes merit special consideration when imposing a sentence to display society's condemnation for these extraordinary crimes of violence against the person.
East Bay Violent Crime Defense Lawyer
An experienced East Bay violent crime defense attorney understands the seriousness of violent felony charges will fight to keep you out of jail. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how to approach the individual facts of each case for the greatest chance of success. If you are facing violent crime charges anywhere in Contra Costa County or Alameda County, contact us today.