Homicide Laws in Richmond Virginia

Homicide is a serious offense that is not taken lightly in any country or state and Virginia is no exception. In case of homicide, a wrongful death case can be filed by the deceased’s family.

What is homicide?

Homicide is when someone kills another regardless of whether it was intended or not, and regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Each state has its variations, however, the basic definition is taking of another human life. Generally, there are three types of homicides, murder, manslaughter and justifiable homicide.

  1. Murder:
  2. There are three types of murder, first degree murder, second degree murder and capital murder. First degree murder is the most severe form of homicide which is done after intent and planning to kill a particular person. There can be very severe punishments for this offense including the death penalty and life in prison.
  1. Second degree murder, on the other hand, is when the intent was there but without planning, for example, a murder committed in a fit of rage without any sort of premeditation.
  • Capital murder usually involves the homicide of a firefighter, police officer, paramedic or child, it is one that is committed during another serious felony like kidnapping, rape, assault or robbery.
  1. Manslaughter:

This circumstance arises when someone accidentally kills someone else without planning or intent. There are two types of manslaughters,

  1. voluntary manslaughters
  2. Involuntary manslaughters

Voluntary manslaughter is usually done as an accident in the heat of a moment or in a fit of rage. While involuntary manslaughter like a horrible car accident occurs purely out to the negligence or oversight of one drive that resulted in the other’s death.

  1. Justifiable homicide:

If a person kills another in self-defense or if he is under an imminent threat then that is considered justifiable homicide. Other than some minor civil penalties, the person responsible for the homicide in such circumstances is not held liable for any criminal offense, making them receive no punishment.

There can be other forms of homicide as well depending on state laws such as a felony murder charge that is categorized as a capital offense according to Virginia law, in case of homicide like carjacking or burglary.

What code sections apply in the case of manslaughters?

The following codes and sections cover the homicides cases which have been discussed in the article above as per the Virginia law.

  • First degree and second degree murder: §18.2-32
  • Capital murder: §18.2-31
  • Felony murder: §18.2-33

What are the penalties for doing manslaughters?

The penalty of first degree murder for a person who is 18 years or older, is:

  1. 20 years to life imprisonment
  2. With and a fine of around $100,000

Second degree murder is punishable by:

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

Capital murder is punishable by death for people 18 or older, is

  1. Life imprisonment

Capital murder is punishable by death for those under 18

  1. Fine of around $100,000
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