Peterford Law, Criminal Defense Attorney for DUI & Felony Charges in Palm Beach County
What Qualifies as a Violent Crime?

Posted on Jul 12th 2023


What Qualifies as a Violent Crime?

In the United States and Palm Beach County, crime is generally categorized as violent or nonviolent. Nonviolent crimes typically involve instances in which physical harm was not inflicted on another individual or individuals. Examples of nonviolent crime include property crime, white-collar crime (such as money laundering and healthcare fraud), bribery, cybercrimes, and harassment. If you commit a nonviolent crime, you are subject to fines and penalties, including jail time, depending on the seriousness of the crime committed.

Violent crimes will typically involve a more severe range of penalties and consequences due to the serious nature of the crimes committed. Criminal codes in Palm Beach County prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of victims of violent crime.

If you or someone you know has committed or been the victim of a violent crime, it is critical that you seek legal counsel. A lawyer can help you build your case and give you a better understanding of your rights under the law.

Defining Violent Crimes

So, what is considered a violent crime? Here is a list of all crimes that fall into that category under Palm Beach County law.


Taking property by force, use of violence, assaulting another person, or placing a victim in a state of fear.


Forced or hidden confinement of another person against their will (or the intent to hold them for a ransom or reward). It is also considered kidnapping to use another individual as a shield or hostage or to force someone to commit a felony on your behalf.


Intentionally burning a structure that is known to be inhabited.

Child Abuse

Purposefully causing physical or mental injury to a child. This includes acts an individual intentionally committed that they know would likely inflict physical or psychological harm to a child.


Entering or attempting to enter a vehicle, structure, or dwelling without permission and intending to commit another criminal act while in that vehicle, structure, or dwelling. Burglary charges are escalated if the person who commits the burglary is armed with a firearm or any other deadly weapon or in cases where the burglar commits assault or battery against another person.


Insinuating unlawful threats to another person or carrying out an action that causes or could cause another person to be hurt. Charges of assault are increased if the offender uses a dangerous object capable of committing serious or deadly injury upon the victim.


An act is considered battery when someone intentionally touches or strikes another person against their will or causes bodily harm. Charges may be increased in the case of aggravated battery. Aggravated battery is when an offender intends to cause great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement or uses a deadly weapon.


The unlawful killing of another human being.

Criminal Mischief

When someone willfully or maliciously injures or damages the property of another.

Resisting Arrest

Knowingly resisting, obstructing, or opposing an officer executing or discharging any legal obligation or process. First-time offenders of resisting arrest can receive probation, but someone with a criminal record or past offense may face imprisonment or fines for resisting arrest.

Assaulting an Officer

Unlawful touching of a police officer or threatening a police officer in Palm Beach County.

Unlawful Restraint

Unlike kidnapping, where a victim is physically moved before being restrained, an act can be considered unlawful restraint when a victim is or feels unable to leave an area because of verbal orders, threats, or physical restraint.

Conspiracy to Commit a Violent Crime

If you plan to commit a violent crime, even if you don’t carry it out, you are still guilty of conspiracy to commit a violent crime and subject to prosecution.

Call an Experienced Lawyer Today

Penalties for violent crimes vary greatly and include fines, community service, and jail time. You will likely be considered ineligible for bail or pretrial release if you have committed a violent crime. Working with an experienced felony lawyer to help you make your case is critical.

Peterford Law has years of experience and has handled thousands of violent crime cases. Whether you or someone you know has committed a violent crime or has been the victim of one, Peterford Law is ready to help you understand your rights and privileges under the law and advise you on the best way to proceed with your case. Contact Peterford Law today for a free consultation.

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