What Are Philadelphia Violent Crimes?
Violent crimes in Philadelphia involve the use of force against a victim. Threatening someone with force or an attempt to use force can also constitute a violent crime. Violent crimes may also involve the use of a weapon.
Sometimes referred to as offenses against the person, violent crimes include conduct ranging from assault to murder. Their classification as a felony or misdemeanor usually depends on the level of injury caused. Most violent crimes are classified as felonies and attract harsh sentences, even for first-time offenders.
Examples of violent crimes include:
- Murder and manslaughter
- Rape and sexual assault
- Simple and aggravated assault
- Domestic violence
The penalties for violent crimes include fines, probation, community service, and imprisonment. Offenders can also be required to pay restitution to the victim. Given the repercussions of violent crimes for victims and the need for general deterrence, a conviction for a violent crime will often result in a lengthy period of imprisonment. If you or a loved one are facing violent crime charges, you need to contact me at (267) 931-7900 as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation about your case.
Defenses to Violent Crimes in Pennsylvania
The defenses available to a defendant will depend on the circumstances of their case. When it comes to defending a violent crime in Pennsylvania, defendants often don't deny their actions but instead argue that there was a legal excuse for them.
Self-defense is one of the most well-known defenses against a violent crime. It is used when a defendant assaults or kills another person in defense of themselves or someone else. In these situations, the circumstances may legally justify the defendant's use of force. However, the force used must be reasonable and proportionate.
Lack of intent
Most crimes require the prosecution to establish that the defendant intended to commit the act. Where this intention is missing, a defendant may be able to defend a violent crime. For example, if a defendant was intoxicated or mentally incapacitated at the time of the offense, they could argue they were unable to form the intent needed for criminal responsibility.
In limited circumstances, the court may find that a victim consented to a violent crime. For example, where a victim willingly participates in a boxing match and is injured. Consent is a complex defense and highly specific to the circumstances of a case.
Why You Need a Violent Crimes Defense Attorney in Philadelphia
Given their potentially catastrophic consequences, violent crimes attract some of the harshest sentences. If you've been accused of committing a violent crime, you should speak with me immediately.
I can review your case and explain your options, including any legal defenses that may be available to you. I can also help ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Call (267) 931-7900 today to schedule a free consultation.