Henrico County Homicide Lawyer

Homicide involves the killing of one person by another. There are a variety of degrees of homicide and related crimes with penalties of varying severity. As this is one of the most serious criminal offenses, these penalties could be very harsh and may even result in a sentence of death for the accused.

Calling a Henrico County homicide lawyer for legal advice and representation may be one of the most important steps that you could take if you are accused of homicide or a related offense.

There are three basic categories of homicide offenses. These categories include homicide and manslaughter, which are intentional crimes, involuntary manslaughter arising from negligence or recklessness, and justifiable homicide, which may occur when a police officer or individual kills another who is committing or has committed a criminal act.

A hardworking criminal attorney could advise you on how to defend against any potentially severe penalties you may be facing for homicide.

Homicide and Manslaughter Offenses

Homicide may include capital murder, first-degree murder, and second-degree murder. Capital murder under Virginia Code § 18.2-31 involves the premeditated and intentional killing of others in certain circumstances, all of which constitute a Class 1 felony.

Pursuant to Virginia Code § 18.2-32, first-degree murder is a Class 2 felony and involves the premeditated and intentional killing of others in different circumstances. These circumstances may include imprisonment or starving, or during the commission of certain felonies which may include arson, rape, or robbery.

Second-degree murder encompasses all other murders not specifically outlined in the statutory sections describing capital murder and first-degree murder. This offense is also a felony with a potential prison sentence ranging from five to 40 years. Other murder offenses may include the murder of a pregnant woman, killing the fetus of another, and felony homicide.

Both voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughters are Class 5 felonies under Virginia Code §§ 18.2-35 and 18.2-36. The difference between these two offenses is purely one of intent. Voluntary manslaughter involves an intentional killing of another in the heat of the moment while involuntary manslaughter is a killing based on reckless or careless behavior such as a DUI. A homicide lawyer in Henrico County could assist an accused person to understand which offenses they are charged with, and how to defend against them.

Potential Penalties an Accused Person May Face

All murder and manslaughter offenses are felonies under Virginia Code § 18.2-30 and with the exception of manslaughter, may carry a potential fine of up to $100,000. Capital felonies and Class 1 felonies are potentially punishable by death if individuals are over the age of 18 and not subject to an intellectual disability, or by imprisonment for life. Class 2 felonies, which include first-degree murder, might result in imprisonment ranging from 20 years to life.

A conviction for a Class 5 felony, such as voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, may result in a prison sentence ranging from one to ten years and a $2,500 maximum fine. The judge or jury could have the discretion to reduce the potential penalties to 12 months or less in jail and a $2,500 fine. A Henrico County lawyer could champion a defendant’s homicide case and help them build a defense.

Mob and Lynching Offenses

Virginia Code § 18.2-40 establishes all lynchings as murder offenses. Lynching typically includes any violent actions that result in death to another. All individuals involved in the mob could very well be considered responsible for any deaths that occur, even if death occurs to individuals who were not the target of the mob.

How a Henrico County Homicide Attorney Could Help

A homicide conviction, whether involving murder or manslaughter, may be potentially life-altering. When facing these types of charges, you also could be facing the possible loss of your family, your friends, your job, and your freedom.

Contacting a Henrico County homicide lawyer as quickly as possible may be the most effective step that you can take toward defending yourself. Legal advice may allow you to develop the best strategy for handling your case in an efficient and successful manner.