No crimes are more thoroughly investigated by police or aggressively prosecuted by the State, as violent crimes like Murder, Battery, and Robbery. Because of this, violent crimes are often the most complicated cases to defend with mountains of evidence that include video, cell phone records, multiple witness statements, medical records, forensic examinations, and DNA tests. Despite this complexity, violent crimes are also the most oversimplified when it comes to the charges filed and trial.
Violent crime cases typically come down to two issues: 1) What action was actually committed, and 2) Who committed it. The average person will say, "I was robbed!" or "He was murdered!" Law enforcement officers are people too and subject to the same easy over-generalization. As a result, many cases involving the taking of property or death of another are charged as much higher crimes, with little regard for alibis, claims of self-defense, or misidentification. If you've been arrested and charged for murder, battery, robbery, or another violent crime, you may find yourself asking:
- Why have I been charged with this?
- How do I make bond, and how do I get out of jail?
- How do I prove the guy in that surveillance video isn’t me?
- What about my side of the story?
- What will happen to me because of these charges?
Every case of a violent crime is different, but they all require an attorney with the knowledge, skill, and dedication to work through those mountains of evidence and make sure the right perpetrator is identified, the right charges are filed, and the real story is told. The Stracci Law Group team has successfully handled hundreds of violent crime cases and brings over 80 years of combined experience defending these cases to the table. Whether you have been accused of using a false Craigslist ad to take someone's cell phone, winning a bar fight that got out of hand, or murdering someone you love but could never imagine harming, we know how to evaluate the case against you and protect you from bad science, dubious witnesses, and biased opinions presented as fact. We aggressively challenge the methods behind forensic examinations such as ballistics comparisons and blood spatter analysis. We understand how to combat over-zealous use of “scientific evidence” like gun powder residue and cell phone tower analysis. And, we work tirelessly to protect you from the damage caused by witnesses with an axe to grind and suggestive identification techniques.
Understanding the Charges Against You
If you have been accused of a violent crime, you may not know what the actual allegations are until you have been charged and arrested. Almost all violent crimes are felonies that can result in long prison sentences. Some of the most common violent crime charges include:
- Murder, Felony Murder, and Voluntary Manslaughter
- Battery and Involuntary Manslaughter
- Robbery and Confinement
These charges can be enhanced to higher-level felonies, or the penalties increased with sentencing enhancements, in certain circumstances such as:
- Use of a firearm
- Prior unrelated Felony convictions
- Committing the act in furtherance of a criminal gang
- The victim is a minor
Learn more about the charges against you:
- Murder, Felony Murder, and Voluntary Manslaughter: Murder, Felony Murder, and Voluntary Manslaughter all involve the killing of another person and differ only by their circumstances. Murder is killing another with knowledge or intent. Voluntary Manslaughter is the same but is "mitigated" by the existence of sudden and overwhelming passion, anger, or fear. Felony Murder is the death of another person that occurs during the commission of certain felonies like Robbery or Burglary that are inherently deadly. All three carry significant consequences. Murder and Felony Murder are the highest level crimes with penalties of up to 60 years in prison, life in prison, and even the death penalty. Because of the high stakes in these cases, they are usually handled by the most experienced detectives and prosecutors, and no expense is spared in building a case against you. In an attempt to point the finger at you, they will use techniques such as cell phone tracking, DNA analysis, fingerprint examination, and suggestive witness identification procedures. But these techniques frequently tell us much less than the State suggests. Find out more about how we expose the truth about these techniques here.
- Battery and Involuntary Manslaughter: Most people know that punching someone is a battery. But the battery can also be any sort of unwanted touching, such as poking someone in the chest or just throwing a rock at them. Any unwanted touching can turn into a felony if it is made against a particular kind of person or causes "substantial pain." And, if the touching results in an unexpected death, it could result in charges of involuntary manslaughter. These types of incidents are often charged at much higher levels, including Murder, simply to leverage a plea agreement or appease an alleged victim. Learn more about how we work a case to strip away unwarranted and unjustified charges here.
- Robbery and Confinement: Robbery and confinement charges often go hand-in-hand. Furthermore, a charge of Robbery and a charge of Confinement can potentially be applied for each and every person present at an incident. This can quickly turn a simple theft into a series of charges that result in decades behind bars. But in the right circumstances, these types of charges can be significantly reduced, even if the evidence is not on your side. Learn more about how we can guide you to a resolution that lets you move on with your life here.
What to Expect After You Have Been Charged with a Violent Crime
Charges of violent crimes often carry high bail bonds that are exacerbated by stacking together the bonds for several charges. In the case of murder, one is not entitled to bail until a "mini-trial" shows that the State's case is weak. Being stuck in jail is a significant disruption in your life, loss of wages or even your job, and financial and emotional hardships to you and your family that you may never be able to recover from. Bonding out is vital to defending your case. It eliminates the risk of an unscrupulous inmate reading your police reports and then making false and damaging allegations against you for his own benefit. It eliminates the risk that you or a well-meaning loved one says something damaging on the recorded jail telephone line. Even in cases with strong evidence against you, being out on bond gives us the chance to help you show the judge that you have turned your life around through counseling, education, and employment. And in cases of murder, the "mini-trial" required for bail is a valuable source of inconsistent witness statements and a preview of the evidence that will help us develop a stronger defense for you. The Stracci Law Group team has the knowledge, skill, and ability to quickly press for an affordable bond or other alternatives to staying in jail and to use bond proceedings to your long-term advantage.
Schedule a Free, Thorough Consultation About Your Northwest Indiana Violent Crime Case
Stracci Law Group is highly qualified to help you if you have been arrested for a violent crime. Paul Stracci has spent his entire career defending people facing violent crime charges, from simple robberies to murder cases where the State has sought the death penalty. His assembled team includes two former deputy prosecutors who have handled hundreds of violent crime cases. If you have been arrested for a violent crime in Northwest Indiana, we invite you to contact us to learn more about your case. We offer free, comprehensive, and confidential consultations, and we want you to feel confident that we are the best choice to defend your legal rights. Violent crimes carry significant and serious consequences for you and your family. To discuss your case with the Stracci Law Group team, please contact us today at (219) 525-1000.