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What Are Violent Crimes? - Definition, Types & Examples

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  • 0:02 Violent Crimes
  • 1:16 Examples
  • 2:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Schubert

Jessica is a practicing attorney and has taught law and has a J.D. and LL.M.

Learn what constitutes violent crimes. Review the definition of violent crimes and examine the various types of these crimes. Finally, look at some examples of violent crimes to gain a thorough understanding.

Definition of Violent Crimes

The saying 'An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' is one which we have probably all heard at one point in our lives. However, this saying can evoke strong emotion when considering the existence of conflict and violent crime in the world today.

Violent crimes include crimes where intentional harm is inflicted against another individual during the commission of the crime. Additionally, violent crimes can include the threat of intentional harm. The infliction of the harm can include the use of weapons, poison, bodily contact, and more. Most violent crimes are felony crimes. These are considered the most serious crimes and carry a sentence of one year or more in prison.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's statistics, in 2010, approximately 1,246,248 violent crimes occurred in the United States. Additionally, aggravated assaults accounted for the highest number of violent crimes reported to law enforcement, at 62.5%. Moreover, robbery comprised 29.5% of violent crimes, forcible rape accounted for 6.8%, and murder accounted for 1.2% of estimated violent crimes in 2010.

Examples of Violent Crimes

There are various types of violent crimes. Some types of violent crimes include the following:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Arson
  • Terrorism
  • Domestic violence
  • Gang violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Battery

Let's look at some examples to get a better understanding of violent crimes. Imagine that Bob is angry with his neighbor, Jim, who has loud parties every night. Bob decides to confront Jim. Bob approaches Jim with a baseball bat and starts yelling loudly about the noise every night that keeps him awake. Jim attempts to explain himself, but Bob starts screaming in a rage and hits Jim with the bat. Jim suffers from broken bones and a concussion. This is an example of an assault and battery, as Bob committed a violent crime.

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