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Violent Crimes: An Overview

According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), “Violent crime includes murder, rape and sexual assault, robbery, and assault.”

The title—violent crimes—is a bit of an umbrella term describing any criminal offense involving threats or the use of force against another person.

Continue reading to learn more about violent crimes in the U.S.

Some Types of Violent Crimes

According to the BJS and the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII), some of the different violent offenses and penalties are as follows:

Murder (O.C.G.A. § 17-10-30)

  • This offense occurs when someone illegally executes another person.
    • In the state of Georgia, there are no murder degree classifications. Instead, anyone who kills another with malice or without provocation is considered murder.
  • Penalty:
    • Death; or
    • Life in prison

Aggravated assault

  • This is an attack or an attack attempt using a weapon, no matter if an injury ensued, along with an attack with no weapon when a serious injury is a result.
    • With injury - This is an attack with no weapon when a severe injury is a result or an attack using a weapon that involves an injury.
      • A severe injury may be any of the following:
        • Broken bones
        • Lost teeth
        • Internal injuries
        • Loss of consciousness
        • Any indeterminate injury that needs at least two days of hospitalization
    • Threatened with a weapon - This is a threat or attempted attack by a wrongdoer who is armed with a gun, knife, or another object furnished as a weapon that doesn’t cause injury to the victim.

  • Penalties:
    • Aggravated Assault (O.C.G.A §16-5-21)
      • Felony
        • 1-20 years in prison
        • Fines
        • Restitution
    • Aggravated Battery (O.C.G.A §16-5-24)
      • Felony
        • 1-20 years minimum in prison
        • Fines
        • Restitution


  • This is an illegal physical attack or threat of an attack. These types of attacks may be categorized as aggravated or simple. The following types of crimes are excluded from this classification:
    • Rape
    • Attempted rape
    • Sexual assault
    • Robbery
    • Attempted robbery
  • The level of assaults varies from minor threats to almost fatal incidents.
  • Penalties:
    • Simple Assault (O.C.G.A. §16-5-20)
      • Misdemeanor
        • Up to one year in jail
        • Fines of up to $1,000
        • Probation
        • Restitution
    • Simple Battery (O.C.G.A §16-5-23)
      • Misdemeanor
        • Up to one year in jail
        • Fines of up to $1,000
        • Probation
        • Restitution

Hate crime victimization

  • Points to a sole victim or household that endured a criminal incident thought by the victim to be encouraged by discrimination based on any of the following:
    • Race
    • Gender or gender identity
    • Religion
    • Disability
    • Sexual orientation
    • Ethnicity
  • Penalty:
    • There are no laws currently on file banning hate crimes in the state of Georgia. However, there are the following federal laws against it, all with various penalties:
      • The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (18 U.S.C. § 249)
      • Criminal Interference with Right to Fair Housing (42 U.S.C. § 3631)
      • Damage to Religious Property, Church Arson Prevention Act (18 U.S.C. § 247)
      • Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights (18 U.S.C. § 245)
      • Conspiracy Against Rights (18 U.S.C. § 241)


  • Involuntary sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical impact.
    • Involuntary sexual intercourse means any genital, anal, or oral penetration by the culprit(s).
  • This classification also includes circumstances in which penetration occurs using a foreign object.
  • In addition, this classification includes the following:
    • Attempted rape
      • This includes verbal threats of rape
    • Male and female victims
    • Heterosexual rape
    • Same-sex rape
  • Penalty:
    • Rape (O.C.G.A. 16-6-1)
      • The death penalty;
      • Life in prison without parole; or
      • At least 25 years in prison followed by lifelong probation
    • Statutory Rape (O.C.G.A. 16-6-3)
      • Felony
        • If less than 21 years old, 1-20 years in prison
        • If over 21 years old, 10-20 years in prison
          • Mandatory sex offender registration


  • The illegal seizure of property from someone else’s person by the way of threat or force.
  • Penalty:
    • Robbery (O.C.G.A. 16-8-40)
      • Felony
        • 1-20 years in prison
        • If the victim is older than 65 years old, 5-20 years
    • Armed Robbery (O.C.G.A. 16-8-41)
      • Felony
        • 5-20 years in prison
    • Robbery of a Pharmacy (O.C.G.A. 16-13-25 through 16-13-29)
      • If there are intentional injuries: no less than 15 years in prison
      • If not: no less than 10 years in prison

We Can Help

If you’ve been an injured victim as a result of a violent crime, we may be able to help you seek the justice you deserve. Our team here at The Abrego Law Firm, LLC is highly skilled in the area of personal injury law and has helped many other people just like you obtain justice. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away.

Call The Abrego Law Firm, LLC today at (404) 334-3324 to speak with an accomplished attorney about your case.