The FBI’s UCR Program (Uniform Crime Reporting) lists violent crimes as four offenses: robbery, forcible rape, non-negligent manslaughter and murder, as well as aggravated assault. However, violent crimes encompasses a variety of specific crimes including but not limited to:
- Attempted murder or murder
- Sexual Assault
- Weapons related crimes
- Domestic violence
- All types of assault
- Robbery or aggravated robbery
Sentences Will Vary
If found guilty of a violent crime, the sentences vary greatly and having a good defense can mean the difference between a life sentence or a shorter sentence, depending on the crime. For instance, murder in the first degree and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree may warrant life in prison whereas robbery, assault, manslaughter, arson, kidnapping, and other crimes have sentences from one to 40 years.
There are differences in involuntary and voluntary manslaughter and voluntary manslaughter carries a higher sentence. An example would be that a person is driving while intoxicated and causes an accident where the person is killed. This would be typically be considered involuntary manslaughter, which falls under a criminal recklessness rule or criminal negligence.
An example of the difference in first degree murder and voluntary manslaughter would be where a spouse finds their partner cheating and acts within the moment, killing the partner and/or the other person. Since a cooling off time was not taken and the person acted immediately out of passion, instead of first or second degree murder, this is sometimes considered voluntary manslaughter, which has a lesser sentence. The difference is in the planning. If you found them together, went out for a while, then returned to kill one or both of them – you have planned a murder and face a harsher sentence.
However, the best defense may ensure that you are not even found guilty in the first place and that takes the skill and experience of a violent crimes lawyer. Even if you are found guilty of a crime that is considered a violent one, there are defenses that help you get a lower sentence but you need someone who knows exactly how to handle your case.
Violent Crimes On the Rise
According to the same FBI report, violent crime in Minnesota is on the rise. These may simply seem as unfortunate statistics until you are the one accused of it. Since violent crimes are considered a felony, the charges are quite serious and prison time is not out of the question. However, simply because you are charged with a violent crime or accused of a violent crime does not mean that you are automatically deemed guilty. You need a defense that knows how to navigate the law in a fair way with a history of knowledge and experience.
The best defense is one that is proactive, not reactive. You need to act immediately and talk to someone who can assess your case and provide you with a defense that starts as soon as you are accused. You want to ensure that your rights are protected and you can get help with your case even before formal charges have been made.
Get the Best Defense
If you or someone you love has been accused of a violent crime, you need the best defense possible so that you or your loved one is treated fairly and can get fair treatment. It is important to get your defense started as soon as possible so contact us if you are dealing with charges of a violent crime so we can help you. Speas Law Firm has over 20 years of experience with dealing with criminal defense throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Twin Cities metro, and all throughout Minnesota.
Disclaimer: The content of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact Jennifer Speas to discuss the specifics of your case.