When we speak about violent crimes in criminal law we often think of things like robbery, burglary, assault, battery causing serious injury, kidnapping, carjacking and of course the various degrees of homicide. Often a weapon like a knife or a gun is used and in those cases the law provides for the additional charge, called an “enhancement” that, especially in the case of gun use, can increase punishment significantly, by perhaps 10, 15 or 25 additional years in prison. If the accusation is murder or attempted murder the punishment can be a life sentence.
These are among the most serious cases in the criminal justice system; many of them are “strike” offenses which can carry serious additional present and future punishment consequences, so it’s absolutely important to have a lawyer who has worked these kinds of cases frequently, over a period of many years so that he or she can properly assess how to defend your case properly and if necessary how to minimize damage effectively, understanding the various degrees of violent crime with their respective punishment consequences. In many of these cases so-called forensic evidence is used by the prosecutor, but, as discussed below, an experienced attorney may be able to undermine that strategy. Also, if drugs, alcohol or mental impairment played a role in the accused’s action, a credible defense may be able to be built around those facts.