Violent Crime Law in West Virginia
In recent years there has been a significant rise in violent crime cases throughout the state of West Virginia. With an outstanding account of almost 5,000 robbery incidents and nearly 350 cases of rape in 2010, it is a serious issue for the state judicial system. The city of Morgantown is currently above the state median for annual violent crimes which is a percentage of 5.43 committed per 1,000 residents. Compare that to West Virginia's average which is at 3.15 out of 1,000 people that occur each year. Charges associated with violent crime are dealt with in a harsh manner due to the severity of the matter.
What qualifies as violent crime?
Any case where the offender exudes violent force or threatens to do so towards another individual is considered a violent crime. It can occur as a means to an end such as robbery or as the action of intent in situations of murder, rape and assault. There are a myriad of other violent actions that a perpetrator can take towards a victim but these are some of the most common.
Robbery is defined as the act of taking property by force and putting the victim in fear or danger. Even if the actual theft is not completed when the offender is caught, they can still be charged with attempted robbery, which is punishable by West Virginia Code §61-2-12. If the person beats, tries to strangle, threatens or tries to physically harm the victim in any way the penalty for a minimum of 10 years. There are other stipulations based on if the robbery was premeditated and felonious in nature.
Killing of another with malice aforethought is known as murder and is the most severe violent crime. It can sometimes be performed in conjunction with other crimes including rape. Murder of the first degree involves deliberately ending an individual's life through starving, imprisonment, poisoning, or lying in wait. It can also occur out of an attempt to kidnap, rob or sexual assault them and it is added as an additional charge in these cases. The penalty is life imprisonment.
Forcing an individual, typically a woman, into sexual intercourse that is unwanted is qualified as rape. This action can be a conduit to murder or be just for the actual crime itself. It is considered sexual assault in the first degree because the victim's body is enduring injury. Penalties for this crime include $1,000-10,000 in fines and 15-35 years in prison.
Assault involves causing a victim bodily harm through stabbing, shooting, or hurting them in any way with a malicious intent to maim or kill them. When this action is committed maliciously the penalty is imprisonment for no less than two and no more than ten years. If the action was unlawful but not malicious, the offender can serve no less than one but no more than five years in prison. When the actions are only attempted but not fulfilled, the sentence is no more than six months in jail with a fine up to $100.
Obtaining Quality Legal Representation
At our firm, we are dedicated to serving the people of Morgantown, WV with passion. It is our goal to see that each citizen has the legal help they need to fight for their rights. Attorney Frank Walker is committed to spending as much time as is needed to procure evidence, investigate and defend your charges of violent crime. It can be an extremely serious issue and we do not take criminal charges lightly. Expect to get results with our firm as our past cases speak for themselves. Do not wait any longer to contact our office. It could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.