A personal crime is a crime that is committed against a person, which affects the victim in a personal way. There are various types of personal crimes which affect an individual, but I will be covering homicide, assault, battery, mayhem, rape and statutory rape. Homicide is defined as a person who kills another person or the killing of one human being by another. First degree murder means the criminal act had been premeditated and intentional. First degree murder is usually punishable by death or life imprisonment.
Second degree murders are committed during the perpetration or attempted perpetration of an enumerated felony, such as arson, rape, robbery, or burglary. The difference between first and second degree is second degree murders is not premeditated. For example, they happen when a mugger “sticks up” an individual and in the process ends up killing the victim. Some states have third degree murder as well, which includes all other types of murders. (Criminal Law, Fourth Edition). Assault is a personal crime that usually involves contact, or a confrontation between people.
An assault involves an intentional, unlawful threat or “offer” to cause bodily injury to another by force; under circumstances which create in the other person a well-founded fear of imminent peril; where there exists the apparent present ability to carry out the act if not prevented. An assault can occur even without physical contact. A battery is the willful or intentional touching of a person against that person’s will by another person, or by an object or substance put in motion by that other person. Offensive touching can also be considered battery.
Mayhem is an offense against the person in which the offender violently deprives his victim of a member of his body, thus making him less able to defend himself. The disabling of an arm, hand, finger, leg, foot, or eye are examples of mayhem. In a number of jurisdictions, mere disfigurement or maiming is considered mayhem. To be guilty of the criminal offense, one must intend to dismember the victim or must assault him so recklessly as to create the danger of dismemberment even though not intending to cripple.
One of the most infamous cases of mayhem happened back on June 28, 1997, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas. On this night “Iron” Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield ear off during the closing minute of the third round. Now when it comes to assault, battery and mayhem, there are various determining factors when it comes to punishment; was it a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor is defined as minor crime (as opposed to a felony). A crime – less serious than a felony – which is punishable by fine or imprisonment in a city or county jail rather than in a penitentiary.
Some examples of misdemeanors are petty theft, public intoxication, simple assault which excludes assaults on police officers, elected officials and social workers, trespassing and indecent exposure. Every case is different and unique so punishment on charges of assault, battery and mayhem vary from case to case. Rape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. Rape, sometimes also called sexual assault, can happen to both men and women of any age. In most of cases when referring to rape it is a female who is the victim.
On rare occasions a man will be the one who will be the victim of rape. Rape is about control and a crime of great personal violence. Some states have expanded the definition of rape to include spousal rape and rape that was not forced but without consent. Lack of consent is a necessary element in all rape cases. Most states refer to rape as a sexual assault and there are four degrees of sexual assault. The laws known as shield laws were enacted in the 1970’s to protect the victim in a rape trial from her past being brought into the trial.
This was important because it does not matter what type of past the victim has if she was violated and raped to the legal standard of rape then she was violated. Statutory rape is defined as sexual intercourse by an adult with a person below a statutorily designated age. The criminal offense of statutory rape is committed when an adult sexually penetrates a person who, under the law, is incapable of consenting to sex. Minors and physically and mentally incapacitated persons are deemed incapable of consenting to sex under rape statutes in all states.
These persons are considered deserving of special protection because they are especially vulnerable due to their youth or condition. Most legislatures include statutory rape provisions in statutes that punish a number of different types of sexual assault. Statutory rape is different from other types of rape in that force and lack of consent are not necessary for conviction. A defendant may be convicted of statutory rape even if the complainant explicitly consented to the sexual contact and no force was used by the actor.
By contrast, other rape generally occurs when a person overcomes another person by force and without the person’s consent. The actor’s age is an important factor in statutory rape where the offense is based on the victim’s age. Furthermore, a defendant may not argue that he was mistaken as to the minor’s age or incapacity. Most rape statutes specify that a rape occurs when the complainant is under a certain age and the perpetrator is over a certain age. Rapes, especially statutory rape are the most personal of all.
When a victim suffers rape, the emotional toll on their psyche is so severe that in many cases a victim might resort to suicide or sever depression. In cases were a female victim suffers rape and results pregnant, are the worst of all. On cases like this the woman must chose whether to keep the child and in essences the product of the crime rape or abort; which is also damaging to a person. In statutory rape cases, if the aggressor was an adult they usually get an automatic minimum of seven years, but could receive even more if they are a second time offender or it lead to death or mutilation of an individual.