Violent Crimes

Many people who are charged with violent crimes don’t intend to harm another individual. Even if the injury occurs due to negligence or accident, it often still results in criminal charges. The stakes are high because a conviction nearly always means a lengthy prison sentence and a hefty fine. Many times, especially if the prosecutor will be hard-pressed to prove intent, an attorney can negotiate a plea bargain arrangement that involves a reduced sentence. In many other cases, there is a valid defense, such as self-defense, that an attorney can use to possibly get the charges substantially reduced or thrown out altogether.

Types of Violent Crimes

Violent crimes cover a wide range of offenses, including assault, battery, rape, kidnapping, and even hit-and-run. The most serious violent crimes — murder and aggravated murder — are unclassified felonies. Murder is punishable by 15 years to life in prison. Sentences for aggravated murder range from life in prison with the possibility for parole after 20 years to the death penalty. Aggravated murder means the act was premeditated or it occurred during the commission of another felony crime.

Other violent crimes include reckless homicide, which occurs through a negligent act on your part, and voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is one step down from murder, but it requires that you acted in a fit of rage or passion or that the victim provoked you. Involuntary manslaughter occurs during the commission of another crime. In these cases, you may not have set out to take another person’s life, but it happened collaterally.

As a rule of thumb, any artificial object, from a pocket knife to an assault rifle, can be considered a weapon, at least in some circumstances. So, many violent crimes are really enhanced misdemeanors. If you happen to have a glass bottle during a bar fight, that’s aggravated assault. If you hit someone with the bottle, that could be aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.

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Defenses to Violent Crimes in Ohio

Under state law, prosecutors have a limited period of time to file criminal charges. This doesn’t mean they won’t act immediately when they believe they have a solid case, but if they take too long, they lose the opportunity to file charges. Most of these crimes have a five to 20-year statute of limitations, but there is no limit to the amount of time the state has to file murder charges. Don’t believe that if considerable time has passed you have nothing to worry about, because investigators may be reviewing evidence, interviewing witnesses, developing a case, and getting ready to go to the grand jury. If you even suspect that the state is still investigating or is about to level charges against you, speak with an experienced murder lawyer in Columbus as soon as possible.

Your attorney can argue several defenses to nearly any violent crime you may be accused of. For example, he may be able to establish that you acted in self-defense or to protect another individual. He may also argue that you were not aware of what you were doing or that you didn’t realize the likely outcome of your actions. In some cases, voluntary intoxication may even be a partial defense.

Violent Crime Defense Attorney in Columbus, Ohio

Joseph Halabi can assess your case and determine what defenses may be available to you. A number of things make Halabi Law, LLC a premier Columbus assault defense law firm, like 24/7/365 availability, free consultations, and a large number of positive testimonials from former clients. Contact me today.