Violent crimes are some of the most harshly punished criminal offenses in North Carolina. For this reason, these cases require the immediate attention of an experienced Charlotte criminal defense lawyer. The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, provides aggressive and informed representation for individuals charged with violent crimes in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.
At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we treat every case as though we were the ones on trial. We diligently review all discovery and conduct our own investigation to determine the best possible defense based on the circumstances. Once we determine the best defense strategy, we work closely with you to refine our defense to ensure it is presented in the most compelling way possible.What is the Definition of a Violent Crime in North Carolina?
Violent crimes are criminal acts which involve the use of weapons or violence. It is also considered a violent crime to threaten to use violence against someone else—even if no force was used. A few examples of North Carolina violent crimes include the following:
- Aggravated assault
- Assault by Pointing a Gun
- Assault by Strangulation
- Assault on a Female
- Assault on a Government Official
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Child Abuse
- Communicating Threats
- Gang Crimes
- Sexual Assault
- Simple Affray
- Simple Assault
- Vehicular Manslaughter
If you are convicted of a violent crime, the penalties will be severe and will almost certainly include the possibility of a lengthy jail sentence. A conviction for a violent crime can include a sentence of life imprisonment, astronomical fines and fees, probation, counseling, restitution to the victim, and, in cases involving a violent sex crime, the requirement to register as a sex offender.
Thus, in addition to a term of incarceration, your record will be impacted permanently with a negative mark of your conviction, making it difficult to get employment or obtain certain professional licenses and certifications. Further, if anyone runs a background check on you, they will see that you were convicted of a violent felony offense.Common Defenses to Violent Crimes
Like all other criminal offenses, violent crimes have many different defenses. While every case is different, a defense may give the prosecutor doubts about pursuing the case, resulting in a favorable plea agreement or even a withdrawal of the charges against you. In other cases, a successful defense can result in the judge or jury acquitting you of the charges. Some of the most common defenses to violent crimes include:
Self-Defense: This is one of the most common defenses in violent crime prosecutions. When asserting self-defense, you are claiming that your actions were taken to protect yourself from imminent harm that someone was about to inflict upon you. The key elements often include a reasonable belief of imminent danger and a proportionate response to the threat.
Defense of Others: Like self-defense, defense of others is used when you acted to protect another person from imminent harm.
Insanity Defense: In this defense, you admit to committing the crime but claim that you were legally insane at the time of the offense.
Duress: The defense of duress is used when you were forced to commit a crime under threat of immediate harm to yourself or others. It must be shown that the threat was immediate and unavoidable. Victims of sex trafficking often rely on a duress defense based on their legitimate fear of what their captors would do to them if they disobeyed orders.
Intoxication: In some cases, you may argue that you were involuntarily intoxicated or that your intoxication rendered you incapable of forming the intent necessary to commit a crime. However, an intoxication defense is not widely accepted in violent crime prosecutions, especially if the intoxication was voluntary.
Mistake of Fact: This defense applies when you had a reasonable but mistaken belief about a fact that, if true, would have made the act non-criminal.
Entrapment: This defense is used when the defendant claims that you were induced or persuaded to commit the crime by law enforcement officers or their agents. Entrapment typically requires proof that you would not have committed the crime but for the coercion of the authorities.
Necessity: This defense is used in situations where you committed the crime to prevent a greater harm. It's a rare and difficult defense to prove, as it must be shown that there were no legal alternatives and the harm prevented was greater than the harm caused by the crime.Speak With a Charlotte Violent Crimes Lawyer About Your Case Today
At The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys have over two decades of experience successfully defending clients charged with violent crimes. We make it our business to educate you on your rights and the relevant laws so that you are completely informed and able to make sound decisions regarding your case. We will fight aggressively for your rights and your future freedom. Our goal is to reach a positive outcome on your behalf and to do all we can to help you avoid a conviction. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a Charlotte violent crimes lawyer at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach us through our online contact form.