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Violent Crimes

Santa Barbara Violent Crimes Lawyer

Defense Representation in Santa Barbara, Venture, San Luis Obispo & Santa Maria

Violent crimes are among the gravest for which you can be investigated, arrested, and charged. These offenses involve the use of force or threats of force against human life. Because of their aggressive nature and often disregard for others, they are considered among the most serious of all offenses and are forcefully prosecuted and punished.

If you have been accused of a violent crime, you should immediately seek the help of a trusted and experienced criminal defense lawyer. At Sanford Horowitz Criminal Defense, you can be represented by a former Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office prosecutor. Mr. Horowitz has considerable trial experience, thoroughly understands California criminal law, and is dedicated to providing clients with thorough and unwavering representation for the best possible outcome. 

Discuss the details of your case with our Santa Barbara violent crimes defense attorney in a free initial consultation. Contact us at (805) 749-5670

What Are California Violent Crimes? 

Accusations of violent crimes are severe due to the potential damage to the victim and society. A conviction can lead to long-term imprisonment, hefty fines, and a criminal record that can significantly impact one's life, affecting employment, housing, and personal relationships.

Violent crimes in California encompass a range of offenses, such as: 

  • Murder and Homicide. Murder is the intentional killing of another human being. It's divided into first-degree murder (premeditated killings) and second-degree murder (non-premeditated killings committed in the heat of passion or while committing another felony). The punishment for murder varies but can include life imprisonment or the death penalty. Other types of homicide can consist of manslaughter, such as vehicular manslaughter.
  • Sexual Offenses. These include rape, sexual assault/battery, and other sex-related crimes. They are considered especially grave when committed against children and those unable to consent due to being drugged, intoxicated, or physically or mentally handicapped.
  • Mayhem: Mayhem is a criminal act involving disfigurement, dismemberment, or disablement of another person's body part. It's considered an extremely violent crime and can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment.
  • Manslaughter: Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought. It's divided into voluntary manslaughter (killing in the heat of passion) and involuntary manslaughter (killing due to recklessness or negligence). Penalties often include imprisonment and fines.
  • Assault: According to California Penal Code 240, an assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury to the person of another. It's often referred to as an "attempted battery." The critical point is that no physical contact must occur for an assault to be charged. The potential penalties for a misdemeanor assault charge can include up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
  • Battery: Under California Penal Code 242, a battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. Unlike assault, battery requires actual physical contact but does not need to cause injury. Penalties for misdemeanor battery generally include a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment in a county jail for up to six months. If the battery causes serious bodily injury, it can be charged as a felony, which carries more severe penalties.
  • Arson: Arson involves intentionally setting fire to property (whether owned by oneself or another) with malicious intent. Depending on the circumstances and degree of damage, arson can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both.
  • Kidnapping: Kidnapping involves unlawfully seizing and carrying away a person by force or fraud or seizing and detaining a person against their will with an intent to carry that person away later. Punishments can range from fines to lengthy prison sentences.
  • Home Invasion: A home invasion in California, sometimes referred to as residential burglary, is defined under Penal Code 459. It's essentially a burglary of a home inhabited at the time of the crime. This crime is distinct from a standard burglary because it involves a greater risk of violent confrontation and harm to residents. Home invasion charges often involve the use of force, threat, or violence against the occupant of the invaded home by the accused.
  • Robbery: Robbery is taking someone else's property from their person or immediate presence against their will through force or intimidation. It's considered a serious felony in most jurisdictions, leading to substantial fines and imprisonment.
  • Carjacking: Carjacking is the act of stealing a motor vehicle when the vehicle is occupied. Typically, the carjacker uses force, threat, or intimidation to coerce the driver. Carjacking is a serious felony offense that can result in imprisonment.
  • Domestic Violence Crimes: Domestic violence crimes involve acts of abuse or violence committed by one household member against another. This can include physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation, or threats of violence. Penalties can include jail time, fines, restraining orders, and mandatory participation in domestic violence counseling programs.

California Three Strikes Law

The Three Strikes Law in California is directly related to violent crimes. Under this law, if a person has two prior convictions for serious or violent felonies, a third conviction for any felony can result in a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. This law underscores the state's determination to deter repeat offenders and protect the public from violent crime.

Importance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

When facing violent crime charges, it's crucial to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side. 

Here is what our attorney at Sanford Horowitz Criminal Defense can do at different stages:

  • Investigation: We can protect your rights during the investigation, ensure fair treatment, and potentially prevent charges from being filed.
  • Arrest: Post-arrest, we can negotiate for bail, challenge the legality of the arrest, and ensure that you're treated humanely in custody.
  • Charges: Once charged, we can review the evidence, identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case, represent you in court, and negotiate for a plea deal or reduced sentence.

California violent crimes carry severe consequences under the law. The Three Strikes Law amplifies potential penalties, particularly for repeat offenders. Given the gravity of these charges and life-altering potential implications, engaging an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can navigate the complex legal system, protect your rights, and advocate for your best interests is vital.

Call a team member at (805) 749-5670 or email us for legal help today. 

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