Violent Crimes In American Law: A Short Guide
Explaining Violent Crimes in New Jersey
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program defines violent crimes as offenses that involve force or threat of force on the victim. They have four officially recognize violent crimes:
- Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter
- Forcible rape
- Aggravated assault
Additionally, other crimes like kidnapping can also be classified as such given the right circumstances. Here is a short guide to the different violent crimes under American law.
Assault And Battery
Assault is defined as threatening or making a physical gesture that puts another person in imminent fear of danger. There does not need to be actual physical contact for an assault. If someone uses a deadly weapon like a gun, the charge can be elevated to aggravated assault, which comes with a harsher sentence. Physical contact is necessary for a battery charge. The two charges usually go hand in hand, although you can certainly commit an assault with no battery. And even though no physical contact occurs in the assault, the potential for harm and danger means that it is still considered a violent act in the eyes of the law.
This violent crime involves the perpetrator taking the property of another person by force or threat of force. Other theft crimes do not need the element of force to charge someone, but with robbery, it is a necessary aspect. For example, if a mugger points a gun at someone and demands their wallet or purse, this threat of physical danger would meet the force requirement.
Rape and sexual assault are broadly defined as forced sexual intercourse or contact by force or coercion. Victims can be both male and female and are not limited by sexual orientation. There are several ways that jurisdictions categorize and define different types of sexual assaults including statutory rape and date rape.
Murder is the unlawful killing of another and is the quintessential violent crime. There are many different crimes in the various jurisdictions that define specific types of unlawful killing like manslaughter, but they are all classified as violent crimes.
Statistics And Consequences
According to the FBI, over a million violent crimes are committed in the United States every year. Aggravated assaults accounted for the highest number of these crimes at over 60 percent. Robbery made up about 30 percent, and rape and sexual assault accounted for less than 7 percent. In cases where the crime involved use of a weapon, the perpetrator was more likely to use a gun than any other weapon.
The criminal justice system takes violent crimes very seriously, and as a result, the punishment for these offenses is often more severe than those given for other convictions. Violent crimes are also harder to get expunged from your criminal record, as well. If you are arrested for or charged with a violent crime, it is imperative that you exercise your Constitutional right to an attorney. The consequences of a conviction can follow you for the rest of your life.
Contact A Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charges Today!
Were you arrested or charged with a crime in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. David Gelman, Esq. has successfully represented clients throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Call us at 856-861-4236 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. Our office is conveniently located at 1940 Rt 70 East, Suite 4, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.