What is homicide?
Homicide is when the reason for a person’s death is caused by another person, regardless of the intention and setting.
Under the Virginia Code § 18.2-30, “any person who commits capital murder, murder of the first degree, murder of the second degree, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter, shall be guilty of a felony.”
Murder can be classified into three; first-degree murder, second-degree murder and capital murder.
Capital Murder in Petersburg Virginia is a Class 1 felony. It is defined as killing an individual willfully and deliberately. The offender of Capital Murder, in Virginia, may have to face a death sentence or imprisonment for the rest of their life as well as a fine of up to $ 100,000.
First Degree Murder and Second Degree Murder
According to the VA code § 18.2-32, first degree murder is “Murder, other than capital murder, by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, or by any willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or in the commission of, or attempt to commit, arson, rape, forcible sodomy, inanimate or animate object sexual penetration, robbery, burglary or abduction”
First degree murder is punishable as a Class 2 felony.
Second degree murder, under this section, is defined as “All murder other than capital murder and murder in the first degree is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than forty years.”
Voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter, in Petersburg Virginia, are counted as common law crimes and are not defined in statutes. However, both these crimes are considered as class 5 felonies and conviction can lead to harsh penalties.
Voluntary manslaughter: The definition of voluntary manslaughter, according to The Court of Appeals of Virginia, is “Voluntary manslaughter may be found upon evidence that an intentional, non-malicious homicide occurred in sudden mutual combat or as a result of heat of passion induced by reasonable provocation.”
Involuntary manslaughter: Involuntary manslaughter is when a person kills another person unintentionally.
According to the VA Code § 18.2-36.1, “Any person who, as a result of driving under the influence in violation of clause (ii), (iii), or (iv) of § 18.2-266 or any local ordinance substantially similar there to unintentionally causes the death of another person, shall be guilty of involuntary manslaughter.”
Considering it is a Class 5 felony, the penalties for both, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, include a felony conviction with up to ten year of imprisonment with a minimum one year sentence, or, at the discretion of the court, the penalty can be lessened to only twelve months in prison and/or a $2500 fine.
Like most states, the penalties and consequences of homicide-related crimes are extremely harsh in Petersburg Virginia. For this reason, it is important that you refer to an experienced homicide attorney who can assess your case and help you strategize a strong defense.