The term violent crime raises images of an illegal act that includes a physical attack. Most people do not realize that the threat of violence, even if there was never an actual attack, could be charged as a violent crime.

Florida defines violent crimes as crimes against someone uses actual or implied threats of an attack. That includes assaults and robberies. Crimes can be violent if there was a reasonable probability of a physical attack.

A violent crime could lead to more serious consequences

Courts are debating when crimes become violent. Many courts are questioning if crimes that did not include a physical attack should be classified as violent or nonviolent. If a crime charged as violent, it could impact sentencing. Sentencing for violent crimes could include heavy fines, significant prison time, probation and restitution.

Courts tend to allow more leniency for nonviolent crimes. Nonviolent offenders often qualify for reduced crimes and reduced sentences.

Crimes typically charged as violent include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Domestic violence
  • False imprisonment
  • Homicide
  • Robbery
  • Sexual abuse/assault

When does a crime elevate to violent?

The facts will be considered by the court. Those details could affect the outcome of your case.

A crime is usually labeled as violent when violence:

  • Was the purpose of the crime.
  • Was used to commit the crime.

The details matter

If you are charged with a crime, the details of your case matter. There likely will be sentencing differences. It also matters if a weapon was used during the commission of the crime. The accused’s criminal history will also be considered.

Crimes that were intended to be nonviolent often escalate to violent crimes. If you are accused of a crime, it matters if you are charged as nonviolent or violent offender.