If you have been arrested and charged with a violent crime, it is important that you understand the charges against you and what your legal rights are.
There is a wide range of crimes that fall under this category. A conviction for a violent crime can carry serious short and long term consequences affecting your freedom, employment, personal relationships, and reputation. Do not let a conviction follow you around for the rest of your life. Violent crimes can be challenged in many ways. You have a lot on the line, let me fight to protect your rights and keep you out of jail!
What are Violent Crime Charges?
Under Idaho Code §18-901 assault is either:
- The unlawful attempt to injure another person, or;
- Threatening violence such that the other person fears they are in imminent danger.
This threat can come in the form of actions or words. An assault is different from a battery because it does not involve actually touching another person. It involves causing fear in the other person. An example would be yelling loudly into a persons face about how they are going to harm them.
An assault is punishable by a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail for up to three (3) months, or both.
- Willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another; or
- actual, intentional, and unlawful touching or striking of another person against the will of the other; or
- unlawfully and intentionally causing bodily harm to an individual.
Battery is punishable by a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail for up to six (6) months, or both.
Aggravated Assault And Aggravated Battery
An aggravated assault is an assault committed:
- With a deadly weapon or instrument without intent to kill; or
- by any means or force likely to produce great bodily harm; or
- with any vitriol, corrosive acid, or a caustic chemical of any kind.
Aggravated assault is a felony charge and is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not to exceed five (5) years or by fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000) or by both.
Arson is the willfully and unlawfully causing damage by fire or explosion. Under Idaho Code §18-802, §18-803, §18-804, and §18-805, arson is divided into several different degrees depending on the facts and circumstance of the case. The degree will determine the potential punishment but arson in the first degree arson is punishable by up to to $100,000 and up to 25 years in prison.
Every person who willfully
- obstructs any public officer, in the discharge, or attempt to discharge, of any duty of his office or who knowingly gives a false report to any peace officer
When no other punishment is prescribed, is punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), and imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one (1) year.
Although this is not actually a violent crime, it is a charge we often see as part of cases involving other violent crime charges. Every person who maliciously injures or destroys any real or personal property not his own, or any jointly owned property without permission of the joint owner, or any property belonging to the community of the person's marriage, is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one (1) year, a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.
This can also be charged as a felony if:
- The damages caused by the violation exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) in value; or
- Any series of individual violations are part of a common scheme or plan and are aggregated in one (1) count, and the damages from such violations when considered together exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) in value.
Crimes Against Children
Under Idaho Code §18-1501 anyone who willfully causes harm to a child, or creates circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily harm or death is guilty of injury to a child. This can qualify as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.
Pursuant to Idaho Code §18-4006 manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. Manslaughter is divided into 3 different classifications: Voluntary, Involuntary, and Vehicular.
- Voluntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being due to a "sudden quarrel or heat of passion."
- Involuntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being due to the defendant's reckless, careless, or negligent actions.
- Vehicular manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being in which the defendant's operation of a motor vehicle is a significant cause contributing to the victims death. Unlike the other two forms of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Attempted strangulation is the willful choking or attempted strangling of a household member or a person with whom the defendant has a "dating relationship". Pursuant to Idaho Code §18-923 it is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Murder is the intentional and unlawful killing of a human being (Idaho Code §18-4001). It is often considered the most serious crime that can be charged under our criminal justice system. Murder charges are classified as either 1st-degree or 2nd-degree (Idaho Code §18-4003). Second degree murder is punishable by not less than 10-years in prison and up to a fixed life sentence (no possibility of release). First degree murder is punishable by not less than 10-years in prison and can result in the death penalty. (Idaho Code §18-4004).
Any person convicted of a violation of sections 18-905 (aggravated assault defined), 18-907 (aggravated battery defined), 18-909 (assault with intent to commit a serious felony defined), 18-911 (battery with intent to commit a serious felony defined), 18-1401 (burglary defined), 18-1508(3), 18-1508(4), 18-1508(5), 18-1508(6) (lewd conduct with minor or child under sixteen), 18-2501 (rescuing prisoners), 18-2505 (escape by one charged with or convicted of a felony), 18-2506 (escape by one charged with or convicted of a misdemeanor), 18-4003 (degrees of murder), 18-4006 (manslaughter), 18-4015 (assault with intent to murder), 18-4501 (kidnapping defined), 18-5001 (mayhem defined), 18-6101 (rape defined), 18-6501 (robbery defined), 37-2732(a) (delivery, manufacture or possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver) or 37-2732B (trafficking), Idaho Code, who displayed, used, threatened, or attempted to use a firearm or other deadly weapon while committing or attempting to commit the crime, shall be sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment.
The extended term of imprisonment authorized increases the maximum sentence authorized for the crime by fifteen (15) years.
There are many firearm related offenses, not all are considered violent crimes but many are associated with violence. Additionally, a person must understand the distinction between state firearm rights and federal firearm rights. Federal law always controls when it comes to firearms. This means even though you may have a state right to possess and use firearms, you can still be precluded from possessing a firearm because of federal law.
Felon In Possession Of A Firearm (State Charge)
A sentence of custody to the Idaho State Board of Correction suspends all the firearm rights of the person so sentenced. However, upon final discharge, a person convicted of any Idaho felony shall be restored their firearm rights, except that for persons convicted of treason or those offenses enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (jj) of Idaho Code § 18-310 the right to ship, transport, possess or receive a firearm shall not be restored.
Federal Firearm Possession Charge
18 U.S.C. § 922(g) makes it unlawful for certain groups of people to possess a firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
Other Firearm Offenses:
- Exhibition Of A Deadly Weapon
- Unlawful Discharge Of A Firearm
- Carrying A Concealed Weapon Without A License
- Carrying A Concealed Weapon Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Drugs
Violent Crimes Are Serious - Hire An Attorney That Will Fight For You!
A conviction for a violent crime can carry serious short and long term consequences affecting your freedom, employment, personal relationships, and reputation. On top of any punishment the court hands down, a conviction can be particularly harmful in terms of gaining future employment. The conviction will still surface on background checks and employers tend to pass on applicants with violent records.
Do not let a violent crime conviction follow you around for the rest of your life. Many of those people charged are good, productive members of society. Some have been wrongfully accused while others have simply made an unfortunate mistake. Either way, you need a criminal defense attorney who will protect your future, your reputation, and your freedom.
If you have been charged with a violent offense, it is important that you understand the charges against you and what your legal rights are. Idaho's criminal laws can be complex and severe. You should not try to take on the criminal justice system on your own.
Call me today for a free consultation.