Violent crimes is a term used to cover a wide range of offenses. Violent crimes are typically charged as felonies, which means the potential for greater punishment and more collateral consequences, like losing the right to vote or ownership and use of any guns you possess. As it is, a charge related to a violent crime can be significant and the prosecutor will not go easy on you, which means you must take significant steps to defend yourself immediately.
At Segal and Segal, our violent crimes defense lawyer in Huntsville and Madison County handles these types of sensitive cases. We are determined to secure the best result for every client, no matter the circumstances or the odds. Contact us at (256) 533 4529 as soon as possible to schedule a consultation about your case.
What Constitutes Violent Crimes in Alabama?
Each state classifies violent crimes according to its own statutes. Generally speaking, violent crimes involve the use of force against a victim.
The use of force typically includes the threat of force or an attempt to use force.
Violent crimes are aggravated when the alleged offender uses a weapon or uses force against a certain class or categorization of people (e.g., the elderly, children, or emergency personnel).
Examples of Violent Crimes in Alabama
Sometimes referred to as offenses against the person, violent crimes include conduct ranging from assault to murder.
Examples of violent crimes include:
- Capital murder pursuant to Sections 13A-6-2 and 13A-5-40.
- Murder pursuant to Section 13A-6-2.
- Manslaughter pursuant to Section 13A-6-3.
- Criminally negligent homicide pursuant to Section 13A-6-4.
- Assault I pursuant to Section 13A-6-20.
- Assault II pursuant to Section 13A-6-21.
- Compelling street gang membership pursuant to Section 13A-6-26.
- Kidnapping I pursuant to Section 13A-6-43.
- Kidnapping II pursuant to Section 13A-6-44.
- Rape I pursuant to Section 13A-6-61.
- Rape II pursuant to Section 13A-6-62.
- Sodomy I pursuant to Section 13A-6-63.
- Sodomy II pursuant to Section 13A-6-64.
- Sexual torture pursuant to Section 13A-6-65.l.
- Sexual abuse I pursuant to Section 13A-6-66.
- Enticing a child to enter a vehicle for immoral purposes pursuant to Section 13A-6-69.
- Stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-90.
- Aggravated stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-91.
- Soliciting a child by computer pursuant to Section 13A-6-110.
- Domestic violence I pursuant to Section 13A-6-130.
- Domestic violence II pursuant to Section 13A-6-131.
- Burglary I pursuant to Section 13A-7-5.
- Burglary II pursuant to Section 13A-7-6.
- Burglary III pursuant to Section 13A-7-7.
- Arson I pursuant to Section 13A-7-41.
- Criminal possession of explosives pursuant to Section 13A-7-44.
- Extortion I pursuant to Section 13A-8-14.
- Robbery I pursuant to Section 13A-8-41.
- Robbery II pursuant to Section 13A-8-42.
- Robbery III pursuant to Section 13A-8-43.
- Pharmacy robbery pursuant to Section 13A-8-51.
- Terrorist threats pursuant to Section 13A-10-15.
- Escape I pursuant to Section 13A-10-31.
- Promoting prison contraband I, pursuant to Section 13A-10-36, involving a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
- Intimidating a witness pursuant to Section 13A-10-123.
- Intimidating a juror pursuant to Section 13A-10-127.
- Treason pursuant to Section 13A-11-2.
- Discharging a weapon into an occupied building, dwelling, automobile, etc., pursuant to Section 13A-11-61.
- Promoting prostitution I pursuant to Section 13A-12-111.
- Production of obscene matter involving a minor pursuant to Section 13A-12-197.
- Trafficking pursuant to Section 13A-12-231.
- Child abuse pursuant to Section 26-15-3.
- Elder abuse pursuant to Section 38-9-7.
- Terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-152.
- Hindering prosecution for terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-154.
This list is NOT exhaustive; other crimes may fall under this categorization.
Potential Penalties for Convictions of Violent Crimes in Alabama
The classification of a violent crime as a felony or misdemeanor usually depends on the level of injury caused to the alleged victim. Most violent crimes are classified as felonies and attract harsh sentences, even for first-time offenders.
The penalties for violent crimes include but are not limited to
- Community service
- Rehabilitation or treatment classes
Offenders can also be required to pay restitution to the victim. Given the repercussions of violent crimes and the need for general deterrence, a conviction for a violent crime can often result in a lengthy period of imprisonment.
More consequences, however, flow from a conviction aside from the sentence. These are known as collateral consequences and can include:
- Loss of job
- Difficulty finding a job
- Difficulty attaining higher education
- Difficulty obtaining a loan for a car, home, or anything else
- Loss of voting rights (if a felony conviction)
- Loss of the right to own and use a firearm (if a felony conviction)
A skilled criminal defense lawyer in Alabama can help you first defend against violent crime charges. This could mean dismissal, reduced charges, a plea deal, or an acquittal, depending on your circumstances. If you are convicted, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can also help you manage the collateral consequences of a conviction.
Defenses in Alabama to a Violent Crimes Charge
The defenses available to a defendant will depend on the circumstances of their case. When it comes to defending a violent crime in Alabama, defendants often do not 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 charge. It is used when a defendant assaults or kills another person to defend 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. Without criminal intent, a defendant may be able to defend against a violent crime allegation. For example, if a defendant was intoxicated or mentally incapacitated at the time of the offense, they could argue they could not form the intent for criminal responsibility.
In limited circumstances, the court may find that a victim consented to a violent crime. For example, when a victim willingly participates in a boxing match and is injured. Consent is a complex defense highly specific to a case's circumstances.
Three Reasons Why You Need an Alabama Violent Crimes Defense Attorney
Getting charged with a violent crime can turn your life upside down. Here are three important reasons you need a violent crimes defense attorney.
- Plea Deals. Many alleged violent crime offenders may be tempted to take the first plea deal, but if you are doing this on your own or with an inexperienced lawyer, that plea deal may work against you. You want a plea deal that benefits you. As it is, plea deals are not always your best option. So, you need a lawyer to negotiate and pursue the best course of action for you.
- Honest Advice. Violent crimes are serious accusations. A conviction can impact your life. Your reputation, personal relationships, job, and possibly freedom are on the line. You need someone who will be candid and help you make smart moves instead of knee-jerk reactions.
- Full Picture. A prosecutor will not give you the whole scoop of what could or will happen, especially if you take a plea deal without representation. Also, the prosecutor will not tell you the extent and quality of their evidence against you, and you may not even know to ask. A lawyer gets the information and lays out the whole picture, identifying and explaining everything you need to know and how all options could impact your life.
If you face a violent crime charge in Huntsville and Madison County, it is ultimately in your best interests to retain a competent criminal defense lawyer. At Segal and Segal, we are here to get you through this process and on with your life.
Contact a Violent Crimes Defense Lawyer in Huntsville and Madison County Today
Given their potentially catastrophic consequences, violent crimes attract some of the harshest sentences. If you have been accused of committing a violent crime, you should immediately speak to a defense attorney at Segal and Segal.
Our experienced attorney will review your case and explain your options, including any legal defenses available. They can also help you prepare a strong defense and protect your rights throughout the legal process. Call (256) 533 4529 or submit an online form today to schedule a consultation about your case.