• Violent crime includes the most serious crimes of murder, forcible rape/sexual assault, assault and robbery. Violent crimes are often committed with the use of a deadly weapon.
  • Offenses and penalties are detailed in state and federal statutes.


  • Murder occurs when one person takes the life of another.
  • A murder is also referred to as a homicide.
  • Murder is defined by statute and the definitions vary from state to state. Federal statutes apply as well.
  • Murder may fall into one of the following categories:
    • 1. Intentional – an intentional murder may require malice aforethought or a murderous mentality/state of mind.
    • 2. Death that resulted because of the intent to commit deadly or serious bodily injury.
    • 3. Death resulting from reckless, wanton conduct, disregard of circumstances and laws and/or a depraved heart.
    • 4. Death resulting from the assistance of another party/accomplice.

Sexual Assault, Rape

  • A rape or sexual assault occurs when an individual engages in nonconsensual sex of any kind with the victim.
  • If a victim does not give permission, they have not given consent. Silence does not necessarily mean consent has been given, although it might reasonably be construed to have been given, depending on the specific circumstances.
  • Sexual conduct may include the following:
  • Touching or fondling a sexual or intimate bodily part of the victim with the purpose of the sexual gratification of either party.
  • This may occur with or without clothing.
  • This may include coerced touching by the victim of either party.


  • Assault is the offensive contact of another whether or not any physical harm has occurred.
  • Assault may occur through touching, slapping or hitting with one’s hands.
  • The litmus test is whether an ordinary person would or should be offended by such uninvited, unwanted conduct.
  • Contact does not have to be made upon the victim.
  • The victim must believe that the actor has the apparent present ability to commit the assault.
  • The victim must have reasonable apprehension and fear of imminent bodily harm, whether or not the perpetrator intended to commit such harm or injury.


Robbery occurs when:

  • The perpetrator takes property from another,
  • Without their consent,
  • With the use of force or threat of force,
  • And with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the property.


Penalties for Violent Crimes:

  • Penalties vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  • Violent crimes may be penalized by the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole.
  • Lesser sentences may result in incarceration for a period of years according to state statute and circumstances.
  • Penalties often include fines up to tens of thousands of dollars or more.
  • Permanent felony criminal record will result.
  • Those convicted of sexual offenses will be required to register as sex offenders.

Violent Crime Statistics

Violent Crime Data, 2010:

  • 1,246,248: the number of nationwide violent crimes in 2010 as reported by the FBI.
  • The highest number of crimes reported: aggravated assault, at 62.5%.
  • The second highest number of reported crimes: robbery, at 29.5%.
  • The third highest number of reported crimes: forcible rape, at 6.8%.
  • The fourth highest number of reported crimes: murder, at 1.2%.
  • Firearms were used in 67.5% of all murders.
  • Firearms were used in 41.4% of all robberies.
  • Firearms were used in 20.6% of all aggravated assaults.

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Michael S. Berg
Attorney At Law