Violent Crime Lawyer Greenville, SC
Being convicted of any type of crime often brings with it a social stigma. Being convicted of a violent crime, however, frequently carries a much harsher stigma and additional life-altering consequences. You could be facing years in prison or even a life sentence if you’ve been charged with a violent crime in South Carolina.
The penalties for violent offenses can be severe, and even after serving your time, you may discover that your punishment continues on. Employers, educational institutions, neighbors, and even possible friends or significant others may be leery about associating with someone accused of a violent crime. That’s why it’s so important to obtain the aggressive representation of a Greenville violent crimes lawyer following your arrest.
At AnneMarie Odom Law, we understand the distinct and often complex circumstances surrounding the preparation and defense of a violent crime accusation and we have the courtroom experience it takes to successfully stand up to the state.
What is a Violent Crime?
South Carolina has a long history of violent crimes, and the public has continuously requested stricter laws and harsher penalties for those who commit such offenses. But what exactly qualifies as a violent crime?
When a perpetrator uses or threatens to use harmful force against a victim, it is considered a violent crime. This includes crimes such as murder, assault, and rape, as well as robbery, extortion, and terrorism, in which violence is employed as a form of coercion or demonstration of force. Weapons are frequently used in violent crimes, although they are not required to be labeled a violent offense.
A violent crime charge can have long-lasting effects on your life. As such, you’ll need the guidance of a knowledgeable Greenville criminal defense lawyer to successfully beat these charges and clear your name.
Types of Violent Crimes
Homicide in South Carolina occurs when one person kills another without legal justification. The intent behind the crime is one factor that can determine the appropriate charge and therefore the severity of the punishment. In South Carolina, murder is punishable by a minimum of thirty years and a maximum of life in prison or in some extreme cases, the death penalty.
Manslaughter, while still a felony, is a lesser charge than murder. Nonetheless, it is still a very serious offense. Manslaughter is defined under South Carolina homicide law as the killing of another person without the malice that is required for murder. Rather, manslaughter in South Carolina often entails a defendant causing the death of another person in the heat of passion after being provoked.
Under SC Code 16-25-20, it is unlawful to cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member; or offer or attempt to cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member with apparent present ability under circumstances reasonably creating fear of imminent peril. A “household member” is a former or current spouse, a male, and a female who are currently living together or have lived together, or a male and female that have a child in common.
Criminal Domestic Violence, or CDV as it is often referred to, can be in many different forms including kicking, striking, slapping, punching or pushing an alleged victim.
Armed robbery occurs when a person uses or pretends to use a dangerous weapon to commit a robbery. For example, if a person robs a convenience store with a toy gun or any other object that the store clerk would reasonably believe is a lethal weapon, it would be considered an armed robbery in South Carolina.
Sexual Assault/Rape/Criminal Sexual Conduct
Sexual assault, better known as Criminal Sexual Conduct in South Carolina, occurs when someone forces a victim to engage in unlawful sexual contact against their will. This can include nonconsensual touching of the genitals or breasts and/or penetration. Sex crimes in South Carolina are prosecuted harshly and sentencing ranges vary based upon the age of the victim and the degree of sexual contact between the accused and the victim.
Hate crimes are defined by the Department of Justice as crimes motivated by prejudice against a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.
South Carolina is one of only two states in the United States that does not have any kind of hate crime legislation. The Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act was introduced in the statehouse in January 2021. The law, named after a pastor and state representative killed by a white supremacist in the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting, would add criminal charges to crimes motivated by hatred for a victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.
The bill passed the South Carolina House of Representatives and was introduced into the state Senate on April 8, 2021, where it is now pending.
Crime Rate in Greenville, SC
Murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault are all examples of violent crimes in Greenville. The FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, which were most recently updated in 2019, are the most accurate source for Greenville crime rate information.
Greenville had 368 total violent offenses according to the most recent annual statistics. The city has a violent crime rate of 529 per 100,000, which means that residents have a 1 in 189 chance of being a victim of a violent crime.
There were two homicides in 2019. During that time, there were also 34 reported rapes in Greenville, according to records.
In the United States, there are an average of 5 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants every year. This means Greenville has a murder rate that is 40% lower than the national average. Annually, an estimated 139,380 rapes were recorded across the country.
Aggravated assault was the most common type of violent crime in Greenville, with 258 occurrences reported. Robbery was the second most common crime in Greenville, with 74 reports for the year.
How a SC Violent Crime Lawyer Can Help You
The investigation of violent crimes in South Carolina, like in any other state, is proactive and thorough. When the police get a report of a violent crime, they’ll examine the area for any physical evidence, question anyone who may have witnessed the incident, and question the suspect thoroughly in an attempt to get a statement that will help them build their case.
Remember that you have constitutionally protected rights if you find yourself in this scenario. Two of these rights are the right to remain silent and the right to have legal counsel present during an interrogation. Before making any statements or submitting evidence to investigators, it is critical that you exercise these rights and also retain a violent crimes lawyer right away.
The defense process begins as soon as you contact Greenville criminal defense attorney AnneMarie Odom. She will ensure your rights are safeguarded while devising a defense strategy suited to your individual circumstances.
Violent Crime Lawyer Near Me
At AnneMarie Odom Law, we realize that cases involving serious crime allegations require proactive criminal defense representation. These charges must be treated seriously, as even a first conviction often results in extremely harsh consequences. As an experienced Greenville criminal defense attorney, AnneMarie Odom and her team are ready to take on your case and defend you against any charges of violent crime in South Carolina. Call (864) 775-5833 or fill out our online intake form to get us on your side today.
To discuss your charges with an experienced Greenville violent crimes lawyer, contact AnneMarie Odom Law today.
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