A simple assault can also rise to the level of an aggravated assault charge depending on the identity of the victim. Some states will prosecute any type of assault on an on-duty police officer or firefighter as an aggravated assault. Some states will even elevate the assault charges when the victim is pregnant.
The phrase "degrees of murder" refers to the intent or severity of a particular murder charge. Some states define their degrees of murder numerically. Common degrees of murder include first degree murder and second degree murder. Other states place specific labels on their murder offenses, such as capital murder, murder, and justifiable homicide.
Find out what the crime of battery is, the different types of battery charges with examples, and common defense strategies used in battery cases. Find out what the crime of battery is, the different types of battery charges with examples, and common defense strategies used in battery cases.
Most states also adhere to a legal concept known as the "felony murder rule," under which a person commits first-degree murder if any death (even an accidental one) results from the commission of certain violent felonies, such as: Arson; Burglary; Kidnapping; Rape; and Robbery.
Homicide When someone takes the life of another, regardless of intent or other details surrounding the incident, it is called a homicide. Homicide is not always a crime, such as in cases of self-defense or the state-sanctioned execution of certain convicted criminals.
Federal kidnapping. Though the majority of kidnapping crimes are prosecuted as state offenses, the federal government can also prosecute someone for kidnapping if the kidnapping crosses state lines. Federal prosecutors can file kidnapping charges independent of state charges, meaning you can be charged with both federal and state crimes.
Larceny is a term only used in states that still legally define larceny as different from theft. Larceny is "the unlawful taking, carrying, leading or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another," notes the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
Vehicle theft is a serious crime with serious penalties, and depending on the intent laws in the state where a defendant is charged and the circumstances of the theft, it can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. Possible sentences for vehicle theft will also be affected by a defendant's criminal history.
Any defendant charged with murder should understand the degree of their murder charges because it can affect the level of punishment and defensive strategies. Capital or first degree charges can result in the death penalty in some states.