Prosecutors take an especially aggressive approach when it comes to violent crimes such as assault, kidnapping, and sex offenses. Thus, if you face a violent crime, it is essential that you have a dedicated Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side at every step of the process. At the Killedjian Law Corporation, Attorney Melanie Killedjian has more than 20 years of experience standing up for the rights of clients facing these serious crimes. Attorney Killedjian employs a unique approach in every case, ensuring that her clients receive the defense they need, deserve, and are entitled to.Types of Violent Crimes in California
As a general rule, a violent crime is any offense that involves some element of physical force against another person. However, there is no legal requirement that your actions actually harm someone else; it is enough to show that you attempted or threatened to use force against them. California law provides a list of violent felonies in Penal Code § 667.5, which includes:
- Burglary of the first degree,
- Murder and attempted murder,
- Witness intimidation,
- Voluntary manslaughter,
- Mayhem, and
- Lewd and lascivious acts.
These are the most serious violent crimes because they are also graded as felony offenses. However, other commonly charged violent crimes such as assault, battery, and domestic violence can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the specific facts.Violent Crime Sentencing Enhancements
In addition to the underlying charges, the California Penal Code allows prosecutors to allege certain enhancements which can dramatically increase someone’s exposure. Some of the most common sentencing enhancements include:
- Gang enhancements under PC § 186.22
- Being armed with a firearm under § 12022
- Personal use of a firearm enhancements under § 12022.5
- Discharge of a firearm enhancements under § 12022.55
- Causing great bodily injury under § 12022.7
When one or more of these enhancements apply, the court can sentence you to an additional term of imprisonment for each enhancement. In some cases, a person’s enhancement time exceeds the sentence for the underlying violent crime.
Those with prior violent felony convictions also face additional enhancements under California’s Three-Strikes law, which can result in a mandatory term of 25 years to life upon a conviction.Defending Against Violent Crimes
While there are many potential defenses to violent crimes, there is no universal defense that works well in every situation. However, an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can help you determine which defenses are applicable in your case and how to effectively present your defense to the judge or jury. Some of the most common defenses in cases involving allegations of a violent crime include:
- Attacking the alleged victim’s credibility,
- Arguing for the suppression of physical evidence, such as a weapon,
- Challenging the legal sufficiency of the government’s case regarding your intent or the alleged victim’s injuries.
At the Killedjian Law Corporation, we are familiar with the best defenses to violent crimes and aggressively pursue the best possible result for each of our clients through negotiations with the district attorney, pre-trial motions, and, when necessary, litigation.Are You Facing an Assault Charge or Another Violent Crime?
If you were recently arrested and charged with a violent crime, it is essential that you have an attorney who will take your case as seriously as you do. At the Killedjian Law Corporation, Attorney Killedjian has more than two decades of experience representing men and women charged with assaults, sex offenses, homicides, robberies and more. She takes a comprehensive approach to every case she handles, conducting thorough investigations, diligently reviewing all discovery and working closely with her clients to develop a compelling defense. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Melanie Killedjian at the Killedjian Law Corporation, call (818) 986-0888 today. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.