Violent Crimes

Violent crime is typically defined as crime involving either actual acts of violence or the threat of violence. It includes crimes in which violence is the intended goal, such as with murder and assault, or in which violence is used for another purpose, such as is the case with robbery and kidnapping for ransom (where the threat of violence is used for financial gain).

Some types of violent crime not already mentioned are rape, abuse, and threats. In 2017 in California, there were 451 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 residents. 59% were aggravated assaults, 32% were robberies, 8% were rapes, and 1% were homicides.

Violent crimes are among the most serious charges a person can face, carrying long sentences in prison and massive fines, as well as inclusion in California’s sex offender registry in the case of violent sex crimes. If you have been accused of having committed a violent crime, is it critical that you consult a competent criminal defense attorney immediately.

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Violent Crimes in Ventura, CA

Jay Leiderman Law has years of direct experience handling even the most serious violent crimes including aggravated assaults, violent sex crimes, and murder. A specialist in Criminal Law recognized by the California Board of Legal Specialization (a designation conferred upon less than 1% of California attorneys), he provides aggressive, skilled criminal defense for residents of Ventura County.

With his primary office in the city of Ventura, he also works with the accused in the nine other cities in Ventura County, including Santa Paula, Port Hueneme, Fillmore, Moorpark, Camarillo, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, and Ojai. Call Jay Leiderman Law at (805) 654-0200 for a free, confidential consultation and together we develop an effective strategy to protect your freedom and fight the allegations against you.

Overview of Violent Crimes Law in California

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Examples of Violent Crimes


Assault isan unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” (Pen. Code § 240 PC) Unlike battery, which is found in Penal Code § 242 PC, assault does not require that the defendant actually use force against a victim – even without actual contact, assault is committed by a mere attempt at injuring someone.

Assault with a deadly weapon under §245(a)(1) similarly requires proof only of an attempt to cause injury. The attempt must include the use of either a deadly weapon such as a knife or a gun or the use of another method of force that would be likely to cause great bodily injury. Assault with a deadly weapon does not require proof that an injury in fact occurred.


According to Penal Code § 206 PC, a defendant commits torture when he or she inflicts great bodily injury with the intent to cause cruel or extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion, or for any sadistic purpose. Thus, the “actus reus”, or criminal act, of torture is the actual infliction of great bodily injury.

When a defendant commits the act of torture, he or she is usually committing the actus reus of one or more other crimes as well, such as battery, infliction of corporal injury, or attempted murder. Someone originally accused of torture might be convicted of one of these crimes instead of, or in addition to, the torture charge.


Robbery, found in Penal Code § 211 PC, is “the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.” What separates robbery from other theft crimes is this use of “force or fear”.

Force is interpreted by California courts to mean physical force, and fear is assumed to mean the fear of injury to the victim, their family, their property, or someone nearby. A pickpocket, for example, who lightly touched a victim in order to remove their wallet would probably not be considered to have used sufficient force for the theft to be charged as a robbery. On the other hand, a thief who did not even touch the victim but instead threatened to hurt their family would meet the elements of robbery.

Other examples

See some our specific practice pages under this topic for other examples of violent crimes, such as murder, kidnapping, rape, abuse, hate crimes, and threats.

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Violent Crimes and Gun Ownership

California law prohibits the possession of a firearm for 10 years for certain types of misdemeanor convictions that involve violence or a threat of violence. Under Penal Code § 29805, the list of more than 30 violent misdemeanor convictions that trigger a prohibition on the possession of a firearm includes the following offenses:

  • stalking;
  • assault with a deadly weapon;
  • battery with serious bodily injury;
  • brandishing a firearm or deadly weapon;
  • assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury;
  • battery on a peace officer;
  • sexual battery; and
  • threats of bodily injury or death;
  • possession of prohibited ammunition; and
  • various crimes involving misuse of a firearm.

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Additional Resources

Crime Trends in California, Public Policy Institute of California – This site compiles various statistics related to violent crime statewide. Included is information about regional variations in violent crime rates across different parts of the state, the prevalence of common types of violent offenses, and data comparing changes in crime rates over time.

OpenJustice, California Department of Justice – The DOJ’s OpenJustice initiative provides open access to various law enforcement datasets. Raw, unfiltered data is available for researchers to analyze themselves, but the site also has specific content that already been filtered and compiled for public consumption. For example, try looking at the statistics for homicide or violent crimes against the elderly.

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Ventura County Attorney for Violent Crimes

A conviction for a violent offense can drastically impact your career and reputation, not to mention completely drain you financially and land you in prison for years. With such severe consequences on the table, we know that it is an incredibly stressful time, but Jay Leiderman Law is here to listen to you, guide you, and vigorously represent your best interests every step of the way.

After years of representing clients in Ventura County in cases big and small – from shoplifting to murder, from state court to federal – Jay Leiderman Law has gained the knowledge and skill to fight your violent crime charges thoroughly and effectively. Don’t hesitate to call us today at (805) 654-0200 to schedule a free, confidential consultation to help you better understand what you can expect and to determine the best course of action for your case.

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