What Does the Term "Violent Crime" Mean?

Have you been charged with a criminal offense? Maybe you have not yet been accused, but know that it is just a matter of time.  In either circumstance, the stress and fear associated with pending criminal charges can seem unbearable.

One common type of crime, a violent crime, can result in many years behind bars. The accused may even spend the rest of his life in jail; a scary thought for anyone. Going to jail not only affects the person convicted of the violent crime—it also affects the friends and family who rely on that person every day.

A violent crime is one in which the offender uses or threatens to use force against the victim. Following is a list of some of the more common ones:

  • Assault and battery, according to the common law definition, is an intentional harmful or offensive contact—striking or spitting on someone, for example. Interestingly, assault and battery are actually two different crimes. Assault is the apprehension of harmful contact, while battery is the actual harmful contact.
  • Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, or family violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used to gain control over a spouse or intimate partner. It can manifest itself in a number of ways including physical aggression, assault and battery, and sexual abuse.
  • Rape is a type of assault that typically involves forced sexual intercourse—accomplished through use of fear, threats, or actual physical force. Rape may also include situations when the victim is underage, unconscious, or incapacitated and unable to give consent.
  • Homicide is a legal term for the act of killing another human being. Some homicides, such as killing in self-defense, are legal. However, when an unlawful homicide occurs, it may be classified as murder or manslaughter.

Being accused of a crime can have lifelong complications. If you have been accused a criminal offense in either Virginia or North Carolina, it is crucial that you get the support of an experienced criminal law attorney. For a free evaluation of your situation, contact us today at 757-625-1214.


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