Criminal Law

Crimes Against a Person

Crimes against persons include crimes that cause a person physical harm. However, just the threat of harm counts as well. Your intentions at the time make a big difference. If you hurt someone by accident, it's still a crime, but penalties aren't as severe as they would be if you did it on purpose.

Physical Contact Can Be a Crime

If you touch someone in the process of committing another crime, or with the intent to hurt them, it's a crime against the person. Assault means you tried to hurt someone, or even threatened to. Battery means you actually did. Robbery is also a crime against persons because it involves taking something from someone by force or intimidation. It's a felony.

Harassment is a Crime

Crimes against the person don't always include violence. Harassment is behavior that is found threatening or disturbing by its subject. It includes stalking someone by showing up unwelcomed at their workplace, repeatedly watching the person from a distance, or pestering someone with unwanted phone calls or emails.

Some activities may seem more innocent than assault or battery, but they're still crimes against persons. When college students or others adopt dangerous hazing activities, it's a crime. Contacting someone persistently after they've told you to leave them alone is a crime. Threatening to harm someone without actually touch them is a crime. Increasingly, bullying is considered a crime.

Kidnapping Is a Crime

Kidnapping involves the taking and confining of another person against that person's will. It is a crime against a person, even if the victim does not suffer physical harm. It includes the taking of your own child outside of your custody agreement, even if the child comes with you voluntarily. If is the custodial parent is not aware of the child's location, it's still kidnapping.

Sexual Offenses Are Crimes

Sexual crimes against a person include more than rape. Sexual touching of any kind, even kissing, that takes place against the other person's will is a crime against the person. The government takes sexual crimes very seriously, requiring that most offenders be listed on a public registry. This will show up on an offender's record when the offender attempts to find housing or a new job.

Murder Is the Most Serious Crime

Murder obviously causes harm to a victim. First-degree murder requires a plan to kill someone. If you kill someone in the process of committing another crime, such as stealing or kidnapping, this is also first-degree murder. Other murder charges include voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, which involve killing someone in the heat of the moment or accidentally.

A Criminal Lawyer Can Help

The law surrounding crimes against persons is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a criminal lawyer.

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