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What Is Considered A Violent Crime?

For legal purposes, the words “violent crimes” can apply to a variety of criminal activities including threats and physical violence. While the term frequently gets used in movies and television in reference to crimes involving homicide and drugs, violent crime can also be applied in cases involving robbery, murder, and a variety of assault charges including verbal, sexual, and aggravated assaults.



In general terms, violent crimes refer to any criminal offense where force and violence occur. Violent crimes can be classified as either the main point of the crime or when the violence occurs as part of the crime.


For example, a person committing premeditated murder uses violent crime because the murder was the entire point of the crime. On the other hand, a person who breaks into a house and assaults the homeowner commits a violent crime for the sake of committing a robbery.


Both of these examples involve the use of physical assault to commit a violent crime. However, actual physical contact does not have to occur for the act to be considered a violent crime. A person who makes verbal threats can be charged with committing a violent crime, especially if the person possesses the means of carrying out the threat. Going back to the house invasion example, a robber with a knife or gun can be charged with assault even if they do not use the weapon on the victim. The mere possibility of weapon usage can qualify as the crime of assault.


By definition, assault occurs when a person threatens or commits a use of force against the victim. As a violent crime term, that general definition means assault can apply to several different situations. Verbal assaults can mean threats of violence meant to intimidate or coerce a victim into unwanted action.


Sexual assaults apply to situations of forced non-consensual sexual activity, which covers crimes of rape and unwanted physical contact. Aggravated assault occurs when a person communicates the very real possibility of an intentional and unlawful threat against another person, even if the person has no intention of actually following through on the threat.


Battery qualifies as a type of physical assault since it requires the person and the victim to have been in physical contact at some point during the alleged crime. A victim who suffers verbal threats cannot claim to have experienced physical battery, while a victim that suffers a fall after being shoved might be able to justify the claim.


Homicide, generally considered to be the worse violent crime, also features a variety of terms that can apply to a given situation. When considering a charge of homicide, law enforcement professionals must consider individual case factors such as the intent of the crime, the possibility of planning which would indicate premeditation, and whether the homicide occurred due to self-defense.


A person convicted of a violent crime can experience a variety of punishments from incarceration to probation. But it’s important to remember that violent crimes do not all warrant the same consequences. When a violent crime occurs, the situation has to be properly analyzed before the consequences can be decided.


To learn more about the types of violent crimes, your rights as a victim, and what you can do to protect those rights, contact the Clarke Law Firm today. We have the expertise to handle your case with the care and attention it deserves.