In California, violent crimes are not just misdemeanor offenses. It is classified as a felony when any violent act is committed with intent to harm or inflict injury upon the victim. Violent crimes wherein the violent act is the objective will definitely lead to felony charges. Such violent acts include murders, involuntary manslaughter, assault and battery, rapes or sexual assault, and sodomy. Other acts that use violence as a form of coercion or even lewd sexual conduct can also constitute a felony.
The specific charges are based on the actions committed. Most violent crimes happen during robberies because there is a big chance of causing severe injury or even death. Some felonies in California that are violent and serious are:
- Voluntary Manslaughter
- Armed Robbery
- Selling of drugs to minors
- Felonies punishable by death or life imprisonment
- Domestic Violence
- Criminal (Terrorist) Threats
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- False Imprisonment
- Serious Crimes with a firearm
- Weapon Charges (firearms)
Criminal acts in California with a violent aspect are usually felony offenses as defined by the state’s laws, and most of these criminal offenses can land the person in jail or prison for years. Understanding what violent crimes are and how they can affect the individual is crucial when convicted or facing criminal charges for a violent crime in California so consulting a criminal defense attorney can be highly beneficial for you.
Three Strikes Laws
California has a three-strike law that gives out severe penalties for offenders with prior qualifying convictions. The three-strike law lists the offenses that qualify as violent or serious felonies. Attempts to commit such crimes are also included. Convictions of such serious or violent crimes count as a strike.
Statute of Limitations in California
Like all states, California sets a time limit when bringing a criminal case. If the prosecution charges a person after the time limit, the case will most likely be dismissed.
Violent crimes generally allow a longer duration for the state of limitations while some crimes, like murder, have no time limit at all. You can file criminal charges against the defendant anytime.
Crimes without Time Limits
For crimes punishable by death or life imprisonment, no time limit exists. Such crimes involve first-degree murder, treason, embezzlement of public money and rape offenses where force and violence are involved.
Time Limits for Crimes not Specifically Listed
For crime violations not listed in the statute, a general time limit will apply depending on the punishment set for such crime.
The general time limit is:
- 6 years for crimes punishable by 8 or more jail time
- 3 years for other felonies
- 1 year for misdemeanors
Criminal Defense in California
Sometimes, the police just rush to attempt to solve these crimes and do not completely investigate. The result can be a case that is overly charged by the prosecutor, or worse yet, resulting in an innocent person being convicted of a violent crime.
According to the Justice system of California, if a criminal case is charged, the defendants will be put in prison until the discharge is deemed necessary through a release on parole, probation or discharge of charges. Due to this, defending against violent crimes tend to be more difficult. However, with the right approach, the defendant can successfully be proven of a not guilty verdict. Investigation and prosecution are very important. Strong evidence, a solid alibi, and witnesses, in addition to the help of criminal defense lawyers, will certainly increase the chances of being served justice.
Are you facing violent crime charges or a crime victim? You need to get yourself a lawyer!
When being charged with violent crime in California, consulting a defense attorney well-versed in the legal system and handling violent crime cases is important especially if you’re not certain of your specific situation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will help you explore the defenses you may have, discuss your rights, safety plans, and options available to you, as well as represent you in a criminal court if the criminal case goes to trial.
Call us at Chastaine Law for a free initial consultation. Your chance at freedom is important to us. Let us help you fight for your rights and possibly steer you away from doing time behind bars. Pick up that phone now.