Violent crimes are treated harshly in the California criminal justice system. And while everyone would agree that assault and other violent crimes are rampant in our society, innocent people are convicted of these offenses on a regular basis. Having the right attorney representing you is the best way to insure that you are not among those who are wrongfully convicted.
When we speak of violent crimes, we are including in that definition not only violence, but attempted violence, threats, sex crimes, and even robbery. Here is a list of some of the most commonly charged violent crimes in California:
Assault and Battery
In California, assault is an unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury on a person, together with the present ability to do so. A battery, on the other hand, is the unlawful use of force on another person.
The various classification of homicide charges runs from involuntary manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter, on the one hand, to first degree murder, on the other. The state of mind of the suspect is often the crucial element in which charge will be brought in a particular case.
Among the weapons crimes are illegal possession, as well as carrying or using a weapon in the commission of other offenses.
Under PC 211, robbery is generally defined as the unlawful taking of personal property which is (a) in the possession of another person, (b) against that person’s will, and (c) accomplished through the use of force, or threat of force. It does not require striking the other person, or even touching him or her.
PC 422 provides that willfully threatening to commit a criminal act that will lead to death or great bodily injury to another person, is itself a crime. It does not require that the suspect actually intended to carry out the underlying criminal act. Rather, the essence of the offense is the creation of fear in the mind of the alleged victim for his safety, or for that of his immediate family.
This crime is akin to robbery, but involves the taking of a motor vehicle in the presence of, and against the will of, the driver or a passenger, through force or fear. Like robbery, carjacking is a felony.
There are many violent sex crimes. In addition to rape, they include different offenses committed against children, sexual battery, and others.
This includes a host of violent acts committed against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, and others with whom the suspect has or had a similar relationship. Read more about domestic violence here.
There are also enhancements which can increase the severity of a sentence for those who are convicted of a violent crime. Examples are cases where great bodily injury results, where firearms are used, and where there is gang activity.
Even when the case against you seems overwhelming, don’t lose hope. The most damning evidence against a defendant in a violent crime case is often eyewitness testimony. While it may seem that this kind of evidence is relatively unassailable, this is statistically not the case. In fact, in cases where convictions have been overturned because of new DNA evidence, the most common reason for the wrongful convictions is mistaken eyewitness testimony.
If you are seeking a dismissal or a not guilty verdict, or if your case requires negotiating a reduction in the charges against you, hiring an experienced San Diego violent crimes attorney is the best way to protect yourself. If you have been arrested for a violent crime, contact RJT Criminal Defense today.