Violent Crimes

*This article is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.

“Violent crime” is a term with a definition that can stretch or shrink depending on the intentions of its user. If you read a PeopleFinders criminal records report and notice the term “violent crime,” you’ll need to know what the term means when used by a legal representative. Without that comprehensive definition, you may misunderstand the data with which you’ve been presented.

What is a Violent Crime?

A crime escalates into a violent crime when the perpetrator uses significant force against another person or when the perpetrator threatens to use violence against someone in the midst of another crime. Violent crime cannot be committed against property. The practice is referred to as a crime or a category of crime that can be committed against another person or an animal.

Violent crimes are addressed with more severity than non-violent crimes. Anyone caught, accused, and convicted of a violent crime will receive less leniency in court due to the violent acts they enacted or threatened to take against another person.

What Crimes Are Considered Violent?

There are some crimes that automatically fall into the category of violent crime from the outset, while there are other crimes that may not have started out that way, but they escalated into violence. Some of these include:

  • Sex Crimes – Sexual assault and rape both fall under the category of violent crime. That said, not all sex crimes are violent crimes. Indecent exposure, for example, is considered a sex crime. But because it does not inherently involve violence against another person, it does not take on the “violent crime” label.
  • Assault and Battery – As it’s primarily verbal, assault isn’t always considered a violent crime right off the bat. But when battery follows, these two crimes do indeed escalate into physical violence.
  • Robbery – Again, robbery is not an inherently violent crime. However, when a robbery involves the injury or threatening of another individual, it escalates into a violent crime.
  • Domestic Violence – Domestic violence is always violent behavior enacted against another person. If one partner, parent, or child threatens violence – genuine harm – against another person in the house or chooses to act on that violence, they can be accused of violent crime.
  • Kidnapping – Kidnapping is considered violence against another person, even if, in the midst of a kidnapping, no one is injured. Kidnappers enact force on their victims, either via threats or physical touch, and in doing so make themselves open to charges of violent crime.
  • Murder – Murder charges come in varying degrees based on the behavior of the defendant and other parties involved. Murder laws also vary by state. That said, all degrees of murder can be considered violent crimes. The degrees will only lessen the consequences of that charge.

What Are the Consequences of Violent Crime?

As mentioned, the consequences of the crimes that fall into the “violent crime” category will vary, but most are severe. These consequences include:

  • Death – While not all states employ the death penalty, this penalty can be enacted, where and when applicable, in response to a violent crime conviction. This is the most severe punishment an accused individual can face.
  • Prison – It is more likely that an individual convicted of a violent crime will face significant prison time, up to several life sentences in some cases. At a minimum, because violent crimes are considered felonies, the convicted individual will spend over a year in prison.
  • Fines – A court may choose to pair significant prison time with an equally significant fine. These fines don’t have a cap and will vary based on the severity of the crime in question.
  • Restitution – Those individuals convicted of violent crimes may, in addition to fines, have to pay their victim of victim’s family compensation for any medical costs, court fees, or other damages endured over the course of the crime.
  • Probation – Depending on the nature of the violent crime, the convicted may be able to forgo prison time in favor of probation. This individual will have to frequently check in with a probation officer and pay any applicable fees or restitution as ruled by the court.

What Does It Mean if Violent Crimes Appear on a Criminal Records Report?

If you’re reading a PeopleFinders criminal records report, and you notice that your subject has been accused of or charged with violent crime, make sure to take the rest of the report into account. Violent crime is a broad category. You’ll need additional data to determine whether or not your subject was convicted and what crime, specifically, of which they were accused.