Violent Crimes Law & Legal Definition


The definition of violent crime suggests that violence is a behavior by persons, against persons or property that intentionally threatens, attempts, or actually inflicts physical harm. The seriousness of the injuries to the victim(s), whether or not guns or other weapons were used and/or whether or not the alleged perpetrator has a criminal record will alter the crime's seriousness.

Often times, violent crimes against individuals and their property are typically infused with hatred, or at the very least an incredible disregard for the worth and rights of another human being which may also alter the crimes severity in the eyes of a judge or jury. The most common violent crimes are aggravated assault, arson, assault and battery, domestic violence, hate crimes, homicide, manslaughter, mayhem, murder, terrorism and theft/larceny.

Of all violent crimes, homicides are the most serious — a crime that results in the death of another human being. Homicide can be charged as an intentional killing such as murder or manslaughter or as a negligent killing such as involuntary manslaughter.

Murder and manslaughter are the most serious homicides which can result in lengthy prison terms or a death sentence. Involuntary manslaughter, a crime where there is no intention to kill or do grievous bodily harm, also can result in a long prison sentence.