Violent crimes refers to offenses which involve force or threat of force, involving a behavior that intentionally threatens, attempts, or actually inflicts physical harm. In the FBI’s UCR Program, violent crime is composed of homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. First degree murder is the most severe criminal homicide charge because of the fact that it is not only intentional, but also premeditated. There must also be an element of deliberation, meaning long and careful consideration. This could mean that it was committed after waiting lying in wait for the victim or preplanning it.
In cases of first-degree murder, there are many different defenses that people most commonly use. For example, many say that the prosecution has charged the wrong person with the murder. They often use an alibi or point to evidence to assert themselves as innocent. Secondly, some people use the argument that they only murdered someone in defense of others, to protect them from harm if they had believed that intervention was necessary and justified. Second degree murder, on the other hand, is defined as intentional, but lacking premedication, and resulting from acts that were meaning to only severely hurt the victim, not kill them. A type of homicide that is the least serious is voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter, meaning that the offender did not have the intentions of killing anyone but did so with the demonstration of reckless behavior, such as through a DUI accident that killed the other party.
Voluntary manslaughter means that the offender didn’t have the prior intention to kill and is situational or depending on the case. As aforementioned, forcible rape is also classified as a violent crime. It is defined as the act of sexual intercourse without the lawful consent of the victim by using physical force or restraint or threatening to inflict bodily injury. Some defenses for forcible rape are that it was actually consensual, and therefore lacked the crucial element of lacking consent.
Aggravated assault is another form of violent crime. It is defined as an attempt to cause serious bodily injury knowingly or recklessly with an indifference to the value of human life. Similarly to murder, aggravated assault is categorized and looked at to different varying degrees of severity, with first degree meaning premeditated malice and aforethought, and second degree occurring without it. Robbery is also another example of a violent crime, defined as the felonious taking of the property of another by using violence or intimidation.
Another example of a violent crime would be shooting someone with a gun or threatening to hurt the victim with a weapon/object. A common defense for this crime is establishing self-defense. This can be done by showing a threat of unlawful force or harm against them, a fear of harm, and no reasonable chance of escaping the situation. It must be shown that the reasons for committing the aggravated assault was as a result of having a reasonable fear for their own safety or the safety of another.