Long Beach Violent Crime Attorney
Even in the beautiful and bustling area of Long Beach, violent crime is prevalent. From shootings and murder to assault and theft, there is a ton the community needs to look out for. However, not everyone alleged to have committed a violent crime in Long Island ends up with a guilty verdict. Sometimes, an original accusation is shown to be a complete misunderstanding. Other times, a defense attorney is able to negotiate for a reduced punishment.
To have a chance at either of these outcomes, anyone who faces criminal charges for a violent crime should connect with a Long Beach defense attorney as soon as they get the news. These types of professionals are quick to navigate a complicated landscape of events and piece together an effective defense strategy that could dramatically influence the outcome. Understanding more about violent crimes in Long Beach and how a defense attorney could protect a defendant’s rights can completely change the trajectory of a case.Understanding Violent Crimes
A violent crime can be characterized as a force (or threat of force) against a victim. Many of the crimes that are considered violent are likely ones you have heard of before, such as assault, robbery, homicide, and sex crimes. These types of crimes are considered to be some of the most heinous in society that one could commit, as they can inflict a lot of harm to the victim. And in some cases, even end the victim’s life.
Some of the most distinctive attributes of violent crimes compared to others include:
Nature of harm: Violent crimes inherently involve harm or a threat to someone else. The physical impact these crimes can have on victims makes them unique to other common illegal activities in Long Beach, such as property and white-collar crimes.
Severity and penalties: Because violent crimes are considered more serious due to the life-altering implications to victims, they are met with stiff punishments if found guilty. A conviction could lead to a lengthy prison sentence, expensive fines, and being charged with a felony.
Emotional impact: Violent crimes are not easy on the heart or mind. They take a huge emotional and psychological toll on victims. Unfortunately, these crimes can sometimes leave long-lasting trauma to victims who struggle to return to a mental state of safety and peace before the incident.
Complexity of investigations: Because the punishments are higher, there is more pressure for a prosecutor to prove their case with undeniable evidence. This typically involves the collection of forensic evidence like DNA or fingerprints to put the defendant at the scene of the crime.
Public perception: Violent crimes often get the most media attention. Depending on the nature of the crime, learning something violent happened in the same town as you live in can rattle a community. This leads more people to follow a case of violence more closely than they ordinarily would.
Some common violent crimes in Long Beach include:
Murder: First-degree murder is charged when there is evidence to show the perpetrator had plans to kill another person. It is reduced to second-degree murder when the individual did not actively plan to end someone’s life but did intentionally do it in the moment. Finally, a third possible charge is manslaughter. This refers to any scenario where someone did not mean to kill someone due to their own reckless behavior.
Assault and battery: A simple assault is when someone threatens to hurt another person, while an aggravated assault is a more severe scenario where a weapon is used. Battery is another term used to describe violence, which simply means the accused is believed to have caused physical harm to another person unlawfully.
Sexual offenses: If someone has sex with another person without having clear consent, it is considered to be rape. Outside of intercourse, it is still possible to be charged with sexual assault if any nonconsensual contact with another person occurs that is still of a sexual nature.
Robbery: Forcibly taking someone’s property without their permission is considered to be a robbery. When a gun is involved to add a layer of intimidation, the charge is bumped up to armed robbery. Carjacking is a specific form of robbery that has unfortunately been giving the Long Beach community issues for years.
Arson: The act of arson means someone intentionally started a fire with the intent to cause damage to property or harm another person. This is a really important one to mention to California, as the dryer climate and already higher temperatures create natural fires that impact residents.How Does Drug Possession Play Into Violent Crimes?
There are a few different ways that drug possession can intersect with other types of violent crimes. It can complicate a case really quickly, giving law enforcement and attorneys more angles to explore.
Some of the most common scenarios of drug possession interweaving with violent crimes include:
Link to violent behavior: It is well documented throughout the history of science and medicine that substance abuse can alter an individual’s judgment, impulse control, and ability to make sound decisions. When these vital life skills are impaired, they can escalate to violent confrontations. Some drugs may make individuals more violent and aggressive, while other drugs could make someone more susceptible to being harmed themselves.
Drug-related crimes: When someone possesses drugs, it can sometimes be connected to other criminal activity they have engaged in. For example, someone might be caught shoplifting and found to have illegal substances in their pocket once being caught. Outside of possession, anyone who illegally sells drugs on the street can also subject themself to violence in the community. These types of violent crimes are underreported, as the victim is afraid to report what happened because it simultaneously leads them to confess to drug crimes.
Home environment: Unfortunately, drug use within the home could lead to cases of domestic violence. Just the simple presence of drugs in the household can lead to tension and fighting. This is escalated when someone is addicted to drugs, causing them to lash out violently towards others in the house when they are not in the right state of mind.What Is the Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney in Violent Crimes?
A criminal defense attorney is instrumental in ensuring justice always prevails, especially when someone is believed to have been inaccurately accused of a violent crime. In some cases, they feel like a final piece of hope for someone who feels like the cards are stacked against them for something they did not do.
Some of the core responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney include:
Case assessment: Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. It’s a legal truth that is even more significant to a defense attorney representing clients who may feel like the public opinion has already made up their minds on what the final verdict should be. Defense attorneys don’t think this way. They will take an honest assessment of every detail in the case and devise an aggressive defense strategy to ensure a fair trial for their client.
Protect a client’s constitutional rights: Sometimes, a defense attorney will earn their client a winning case based on an error made by the criminal prosecution team. A defense attorney will keep a close eye on how evidence is collected, if their client was informed of their rights, and ensure any witness testimonies are admissible in court.
Develop a defense strategy: Based on the assessment, a Long Beach defense lawyer will tailor a unique defense strategy, leveraging relevant, effective practices from their history of past wins. This requires the attorney to anticipate the prosecution’s argument and find different ways to refute what they are trying to prove. For example, they could challenge the credibility of a witness or present an alibi that contradicts the prosecution’s timeline of events.
Plea bargaining: If it appears as if the prosecution has a compelling case, a criminal defense attorney will work with their client and opposing counsel to try and construct a plea deal. This is an attempt to reduce the initial charges or how severe the prosecution would like the punishment to be.
Representation at trial: If a case goes to trial, there is a ton of value a defense attorney will add to the process. Cross-examining is one of the most important. After the prosecution has presented a witness and associated evidence, the defense has the ability to ask their own questions to sow a seed of doubt in what the opposition presented. It can be one of the most powerful tools in casting doubt on the allegations and protecting someone from an unjust ruling.
Appeals process: If there are grounds for appeal after a guilty verdict has been reached, a defense attorney has the authority to start those proceedings. This will involve hours spent reviewing records from the trial, trying to piece together any legal errors, or finding new angles to vouch for a client’s innocence.What Defense Positions Could Protect From a Guilty Violence Crime Charge?
There are a number of different defensive positions that have successfully prevented the wrongly accused from facing criminal prosecution in the past. It will be up to your attorney and their evaluation of your case to make a call on what will work for your circumstances.
Some possible defense strategies include:
Self-defense: Everyone has the right to self-defense if they have reason to believe they are in immediate danger. A valid self-defense claim needs to be evidently proportioned to the perceived threat. Leveraging this defense will require a careful look into what happened during the incident that led to the charges. The defense could also take the stance that their client was acting in defense of someone else who was in harm’s way.
Alibi: A case can be difficult to prove if there was no one around to witness the crime besides the alleged criminal and victim. However, a solid alibi can testify they were with you at the exact time of the crime. Supporting evidence, such as surveillance footage, can strengthen the position that you were not involved in the crime.
Mistaken identity: It is plausible that someone has mistakenly identified the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime. This can happen in situations where the crime was quick, there was a group of people around, or there are conflicting accounts of what happened during the incident. If any of the evidence being presented to the court is not conclusive or compelling, a defense attorney can raise doubts about the validity of the case.
The insanity defense: If a defendant wants to claim insanity, they will be required to receive psychiatric evaluations to receive an official diagnosis. A court will also want to hear testimonials from licensed professionals who evaluated and treated the defendant to feel confident they were not mentally capable of making responsible decisions. This type of defense may not protect a client from a guilty verdict, but it will impact what type of punishment and treatment they are required to pursue.
Duress: Sometimes, a person is forced to commit a crime they never had any intention of committing. This is called duress. It could look like one individual threatening to kill the defendant if they don’t engage in a specific behavior. This can be a difficult position to take, especially if the defendant is still fearful of the individual who put them in this situation. However, a defense attorney will be able to make the case for duress in court while also implementing specific protections for their client to keep them safe after testifying.
Adequate Provocation: This type of defense strategy requires a jury to believe the defendant acted in the heat of passion due to adequate provocation. A common example of this would be a partner coming home and catching their spouse cheating in the act. This does not have the power to reverse a guilty verdict, but it could, for example, reduce a murder charge to manslaughter.Get the Criminal Defense Strategy You Need Today
If you believe to be a victim of an unjust, violent crime allegation, connect with the defense attorneys at Power Trial Lawyers today. We have spent years refining how we approach different defense strategies and will be honored to work with you and for you throughout your case.