Being charged with a crime can be a terrifying and surreal experience for Nebraskans. From lacking knowledge of evolving state legislation to simply making an honest mistake, it isn’t uncommon for law-abiding citizens to find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
While no sane person plans on getting arrested and charged with a crime, it’s crucial to be prepared. Violent crimes are taken very seriously in Nebraska and carry harsh penalties if convicted, including imprisonment. That’s why our trusted defense attorneys at Island Law Office, PC, LLO are committed to safeguarding the rights of the accused in Gering, Scottsbluff, and beyond.
Our firm is proud to defend the rights and hard-earned reputations of our neighbors in Scotts Bluff, Dawes, Sheridan, Cheyenne, and surrounding counties. Reach out today to learn how we can deliver the high-quality, customized legal services that you deserve to restore your freedom and protect your future.
Charged with a crime in Scotts Bluff County or the surrounding area? A strong defense is essential to fight the charges against you. Call (308) 270-6010 to request a consultation.
Common Violent Crimes in Nebraska
Violent crimes are criminal offenses that entail the use or threat of physical force against another person. For the most part, these crimes are classified as felonies due to their severe nature and the potential harm they can cause. In some cases, a misdemeanor charge can be elevated to a felony if certain factors are present, such as the use of a deadly weapon or the extent of the victim's injuries.
Our firm has extensive experience representing the accused in violent crime cases throughout the Nebraska Panhandle, including:
- Assault – This crime entails intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury to another person. Depending on the severity of the offense, assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor (third-degree assault) or felony (first-degree assault).
- Domestic Violence – Domestic violence involves acts or threats of violence between family or household members. Depending on the severity of the case, domestic violence can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, with penalties including imprisonment, fines, and mandatory counseling or treatment programs.
- Murder – Murder is the unlawful killing of another person with malice aforethought. In Nebraska, murder is a felony offense. Depending on the severity of the crime, murder can be charged in the first or second degree. First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, while second-degree murder can result in a prison term of 20 years to life.
- Sexual Assault – Sexual assault involves nonconsensual sexual contact or penetration. Depending on the circumstances and the age of the victim, sexual assault charges can range from a Class IIIA Felony to a Class IB Felony, with penalties including significant prison time, fines, and registration as a sex offender.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges for any violent crime, regardless of severity, securing fierce representation from a knowledgeable violent crime defense attorney is nonnegotiable to obtain a favorable outcome in court and avoid the life-changing penalties of a criminal conviction.
Common Defenses Against Violent Crimes in Nebraska
In Nebraska, there are various legal strategies to defend against violent crime charges in court, such as:
- Self-Defense – This strategy argues that the defendant had the right to protect themselves from physical harm by committing the offense, even if that required them to use force against the other party. In Nebraska, self-defense can be a valid legal strategy if the defendant reasonably believed that they were in imminent danger of bodily harm and used an appropriate level of force to protect themselves.
- Defense of Others – Similarly to self-defense, defense of others argues that the defendant used force to protect another person from imminent harm. To successfully argue the defense of others, the defendant must prove that they had a reasonable belief that the person they were defending was in immediate danger and that the force used was necessary to prevent the harm.
- Lack of Intent – Violent crimes typically require intent to cause harm as a critical element of the offense. A defendant may argue that they did not have the required intent to commit the crime, either due to a genuine mistake or misunderstanding. For example, if a person accidentally strikes someone during a heated argument, they might argue that there was no intent to cause harm, and therefore, the assault charge should be dismissed or reduced.
- Alibi – An alibi defense involves providing evidence that the defendant was not present at the scene of the crime when it occurred. This can include witness testimony, surveillance footage, or other forms of documentation that show the defendant was elsewhere at the time of the alleged offense. If the alibi is credible and can be corroborated, it can create reasonable doubt about the defendant's involvement in the crime, potentially leading to an acquittal or dismissal of charges.
- Insanity or Mental Incapacity – In some cases, a defendant may argue that they were legally insane or mentally incapacitated at the time of the offense, rendering them incapable of understanding the nature and consequences of their actions. To successfully employ this defense, the defendant must typically undergo a psychological evaluation and present expert testimony to support their claim. If the court finds that the defendant was indeed suffering from a mental disorder that rendered them unable to comprehend their actions, they may be found not guilty because of insanity or receive a reduced sentence.
It's essential to consult with a trusted defense attorney before making any legal decisions for your case, as your lawyer can use their specialized skills and knowledge of criminal law to determine the most effective legal strategy to employ on your behalf based on the unique circumstances of your case.
Importance of Hiring an Experienced Violent Crimes Lawyer
Given the serious nature of violent crimes and the potential for severe legal consequences, it's crucial to seek representation from an experienced violent crimes attorney in Nebraska as soon as possible to avoid jeopardizing your future and freedom. A skilled legal representative can help you navigate the complexities of criminal proceedings by guiding your legal steps wisely.
When choosing a lawyer, it’s important to select one with a proven track record of success in handling violent crime cases in Nebraska. Our accomplished advocates at Island Law Office have served clients in dire times of need since 1994, making us well-equipped to represent your best interests and protect your rights from start to finish.
Consider keeping these best practices in mind to best prepare for criminal court:
- Exercise your constitutional rights appropriately – It’s crucial to invoke your right to remain silent to avoid making any self-incriminating statements that may be used against you in court. The defendant should request to speak with an attorney before answering any questions or agreeing to questioning.
- Work with a trusted attorney to prepare for upcoming legal proceedings – It’s important to collaborate closely with your legal representative to gather evidence, identify potential witnesses, and develop a strong defense strategy. Understanding the nature of the charges against you and the potential penalties if convicted can help maximize your chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in court.
- Understand the legal process – Your lawyer can and should be an invaluable asset for research, clarity, and peace of mind throughout the entirety of the process. It’s imperative to familiarize yourself with the various steps involved in a criminal trial, such as arraignment, pretrial hearings, plea negotiations, and the trial itself. Knowing what to expect can help alleviate some of the stress associated with facing criminal charges.
If you’re facing charges for a violent crime in Nebraska, it's essential to understand the charges against you and the consequences of a criminal conviction. Defendants will benefit from securing representation from a qualified violent crimes attorney as soon as possible to protect their rights and minimize the penalties against them.
Fierce Defense Lawyers in Morrill & Scotts Bluff Counties
For over three decades, our dedicated criminal defense lawyers at Island Law Office, PC, LLO have tirelessly defended the rights of the accused in Gering, Scottsbluff, and beyond. We have experience representing clients in a variety of criminal defense cases, from DWI defense to sexual assault allegations. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Nebraska, there’s a good chance that your freedom is hinged on securing swift representation from a qualified attorney. Call (308) 270-6010 to discuss your case with a steadfast legal advocate and avoid the harsh consequences of a criminal conviction.
Our aggressive attorneys fight for Nebraskans to avoid life-changing criminal penalties. Call (308) 270-6010 to consult with a fierce defense attorney in Scotts Bluff County.