Common California Violent Crimes

At Spolin Law P.C., we handle all types of violent crimes, including misdemeanors or high-level felonies. While we recognize that accusations of violent conduct can be difficult to defend against, we are not intimidated by tough cases. Our firm has successfully handled several violent offenses, including:

Disorderly Conduct (California Penal Code [PC] Section 647)

This offense encompasses a wide range of offensive, dangerous, and violent behavior. It includes the crimes of loitering, lewd conduct in public, public intoxication, invasion of privacy, and soliciting prostitution. This offense is typically a misdemeanor.

Assault and Battery (PC Sections 240 & 242)

In California, assault and battery are two different crimes. You can be charged with assault if you attempt to harm someone while having the ability to do so. The alleged victim does not have to suffer an injury for you to be charged and convicted. The offense of battery includes forceful, violent, or offensive touching. With battery, there is some sort of contact between you and the victim that may have caused the victim harm. Both assault and battery can be misdemeanor or felony charges.

Also, more serious accusations, such as if you used a firearm during the offense or caused the victim serious bodily injury, can lead to aggravated assault or battery charges. A violent crimes lawyer at our firm will represent you against assault, aggravated assault, battery, or aggravated battery charges.

Domestic Violence (PC Section 273.5)

You can be charged with a felony if you inflict physical harm on someone with whom you have a personal relationship with, and the injury results in a traumatic condition. California’s domestic violence law encompasses current and former spouses, current and former co-habitants, current and former romantic partners, and other parents of children. If you have been accused of domestic violence in Los Angeles, call us for help right away.

False Imprisonment (PC Sections 236 & 237)

Under California law, false imprisonment is the unlawful violation of another person’s liberty, which is their right to have freedom and move about as they please. You can face charges for this crime if you unlawfully restrain someone or force them to stay in one place, such as if you lock someone in a room or a house against their will. This is typically a misdemeanor offense.

Kidnapping (PC Section 207)

If you forcibly steal, take, hold, detain, or arrest a person and take that person to another place within the same county, or into another county, state, or country, you can be charged with kidnapping. Despite the name, kidnapping does not have to involve a minor. Although, you can also be accused of kidnapping if you lure, entice, persuade, or seduce a child under 14 years of age to come with you. Kidnapping is a felony, though the age of the victim and your actions influence your maximum sentence. If you are charged with false imprisonment or kidnapping, contact a violent crimes lawyer as soon as you can.

Robbery (PC Section 211 & 213)

Robbery is the taking of another individual’s personal property in their presence and against their will through the use of force or fear. Under California law, you can face either robbery in the first degree (which involves multiple parties committing a robbery within an inhabited structure), or robbery in the second degree (which includes all other robbery offenses). Both are felonies, which can lead to multiple years in prison.

Hit and Run (California Vehicle Code Sections 20001–20003)

California’s traffic laws require you to stop if you are involved in a vehicle accident. If you fail to stop, or you briefly stop and drive away before the police arrive or you exchange information with the other involved drivers, then you can be charged with a hit and run. If you caused property damage only, you may face misdemeanor charges. However, if you caused another person injury or death, then you will be charged with a felony.

Vehicular Manslaughter (PC Section 192(c))

You can face charges of vehicular manslaughter in several situations, such as if you caused another person’s death while committing gross negligence or while committing a misdemeanor offense. This offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are charged with vehicular manslaughter, it is important to defend yourself vigorously. Call a violent crimes lawyer for help.

Homicide (PC Sections 187–199)

California’s homicide law encompasses the offenses of first and second-degree murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, and gross vehicular manslaughter. Under the law, murder is the unlawful killing of another with malice aforethought. Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another human without malice. Voluntary manslaughter includes committing the offense while in the heat of passion. Involuntary manslaughter involves the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, or the commission of a lawful act in a negligent manner. Homicide offenses are serious felonies, and you need an experienced violent crimes lawyer to defend you.

  1. Common California Violent Crimes
  2. Sentencing for Violent Crimes in California
  3. Possible Legal Defenses to Violent Crime Charges

Sentencing for Violent Crimes in California

Criminal sentencing in California works differently than in many other states. In each category of crime (infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies), there are levels or ranges of sentences that may be appropriate depending on the facts of your case.

Misdemeanors are typically punishable by no more than one year in jail and a fine. For example, assault is punishable by up to six months in the county jail, and a fine reaching $1,000.

Felonies in California are punished by varying prison sentences. For example, aggravated assault can be punished by a term of two, three, or four years in state prison, and fines reaching $10,000.

California also has what are known as “wobblers,” which are crimes that can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Aggravated assault is one of those crimes. If you are convicted of aggravated assault, your sentence may be for a misdemeanor, or for a felony.

California’s Three Strikes Law

If you are charged with a violent crime in California and you already have a criminal record, you need to speak with your attorney about the Three Strikes Law.

If you are convicted of a second serious or violent felony, California law mandates that the normal statutory penalty be doubled. If this was your first offense, you may have been sentenced to five years in prison. Instead, because it is your second serious or violent felony conviction, you must serve 10 years in prison.

If you are convicted of a third serious or violent felony, and your previous convictions were for similar offenses, then you face a harsh sentence of 25 years to life.

If you’re concerned about your criminal record and how it may affect future sentencing, call a violent crimes lawyer at Spolin Law P.C. for help today.

Additional Consequences of a Violent Crimes Conviction

If you are convicted of a violent crime, whether for the first or subsequent time, you can expect to face a number of collateral consequences. Once you finish your term of incarceration, you may have a difficult time obtaining a job or going back to school. Depending on what your conviction was for, you may not be able to obtain federal financial aid. Even if you can go to school, you may face hurdles in obtaining certain professional licenses. Ultimately, a violent crime conviction can create a lot of problems in obtaining an education and building a career.

Additionally, a conviction could make it difficult to rent a home or apartment. You could have a difficult time obtaining auto loans and other personal loans. The conviction could impact your immigration status and your ability to travel abroad. If you have children, their other parent could use your conviction to limit your custody and visitation.

  1. Common California Violent Crimes
  2. Sentencing for Violent Crimes in California
  3. Possible Legal Defenses to Violent Crime Charges

Possible Legal Defenses to Violent Crime Charges

If you have been accused of a violent crime, you need to contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Some of the potential legal defenses that may be appropriate in your case include:

  • Mistake of Identity — If you did not commit the crime, your violent crimes lawyer may seek to prove that you could not possibly be the culprit, and the prosecution cannot prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Self Defense — If you had reason to believe you were in immediate danger, then you had the right to use proportionate force to defend yourself.
  • Defense of Others — If you reasonably believed that others, such as your friends or family, were in immediate danger, then you had the right to use force proportional to the threat to defend yourself and them.
  • Inadvertent Act (Accident) — To be convicted of a violent crime, prosecutors typically have to prove you had the intent to do so. If the other person’s injury or death was an accident, your attorney will seek to prove you lacked intent because it was an inadvertent accident.
  • Necessity — You may have had to act the way you did to prevent a greater danger to yourself or others.
  • Coercion — You may have been threatened and forced to commit a crime you would otherwise not have committed.
  • Entrapment — You can claim entrapment if you were convinced to commit a crime by a law enforcement agent, and without their influence, you would not have thought to commit the crime on your own.
  • Lack of Sufficient Evidence — You cannot be convicted of a crime unless the prosecutor can prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of your possible defenses. Depending on the case, there may be other affirmative or technical defenses a violent crimes lawyer at our firm can deploy. Other possible defenses include insanity, mental incapacity, and involuntary intoxication.

Let a Violent Crimes Lawyer Help You Now

Whether you have recently been accused or arrested for a violent crime, or you have already been charged, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get a criminal defense lawyer on your case right away. At Spolin Law P.C., our violent crimes attorneys are prepared to fight for you in court, and ensure that your rights remain protected throughout every step of the criminal justice process.

Call us at (310) 424-5816 or request a free consultation through our online form.