Petersburg VA Homicide Laws

What is homicide?

An individual killing someone, irrespective of what his intention was and the circumstances surrounding it, is considered homicide.

According to 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 in Petersburg Virginia:

Capital Murder

Capital Murder in Petersburg Virginia is defined as killing an individual willfully and deliberately.

Getting convicted for this Class 1 felony can lead to a death sentence or a lifetime of imprisonment as well as a fine of up to $ 100,000. Some of the crimes that come under capital murder include:

  • Contract murder
  • Killing a law enforcement officer
  • Murder by a prisoner
  • Multiple murders
  • Murder due to a drug distribution crime
  • Murder of an individual under the age of 14 by an individual above the age of 20

First-Degree Murder

According to the Virginia Code § 18.2-32 crimes that come under first degree murder include: “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”

The penalties for this class two felony in Virginia include:

  1. 20 years to life imprisonment
  2. A fine of up to $100,000.

Second-Degree Murder

The murder that does not come under capital murder or first-degree murder is considered second-degree murder. Getting convicted of second-degree murder in Petersburg Virginia can lead to a felony conviction with:

  1. 5 to 40 years of imprisonment
  2. And a fine of around $100,000.

Manslaughter in Petersburg Virginia:

It is considered manslaughter when an individual kills someone without premeditation or a “malice aforethought”

Voluntary manslaughter vs. involuntary manslaughter:

A murder is considered voluntary manslaughter when an individual accidentally kills someone without any premeditation in the “heat of passion” whereas, involuntary manslaughter is when someone accidentally kills an individual due to negligence such as reckless driving.

Penalties for Manslaughter in Petersburg VA:

Both voluntary manslaughters and involuntary manslaughter are Class 5 felonies. A person convicted with manslaughter, either voluntary or involuntary, will have to face a felony conviction with imprisonment of one to ten years, or, 12 months of prison and/or a $2500 fine at the discretion of the jury.

Justifiable homicide in Petersburg Virginia:

Justifiable homicide is when an individual kills another person in self-defense or due to an impending threat. The person will only have to face some minor civil penalties and is not convicted of a criminal offense, thus they do not receive any harsh punishments.

Getting charged with murder is a serious offense and the only crime in Virginia where a conviction can get you executed. It is important to refer to an experienced homicide attorney to ensure that you can avoid the harsh penalties.