When you think of someone committing a crime, you probably naturally assume it is a violent crime.
While that may not always be true, there are reasons our minds automatically think of crimes as violent. They are the types of crimes society condemns the most and the crimes that usually make the news.
However, what exactly classifies a crime in Illinois as a violent crime? There is no specific legal definition, but a violent crime is generally one that involves physical harm to someone or a threat to physically harm them.
Examples of violent crimes
One of the most common examples of a violent crime is murder. Illinois divides its murder crimes into first-degree and second-degree murder. Manslaughter and reckless homicide are also violent crimes in Illinois.
Other common examples of violent crimes include rape, assault, battery and robbery. Violent crimes can be misdemeanors or felonies, although most are felonies due to their serious nature.
As you can probably guess, being charged with a violent crime carries more serious consequences than a non-violent crime, including the possibility of prison time.
Defending yourself against a violent crime charge
There are potential available defenses to violent crimes. No matter what the crime, the prosecution has the burden of proving you committed it beyond a reasonable doubt.
Some violent crimes are committed in self-defense. Other times, people are charged with a violent crime based on a false accusation by the alleged victim.
What to do if you are charged with a violent crime
You should act quickly if you are charged with a violent crime. Do not talk to the police and assert your right to an attorney immediately.
Anything that you say after your arrest could be used against you in a criminal case, even something as simple as saying you are sorry. This could be interpreted as a sign of your guilt.
You cannot afford a violent crime conviction on your record. A criminal defense attorney can assess the situation and help you prepare a strong defense.