If you are facing murder or manslaughter charges, finding an experienced attorney is extremely important. Depending on the severity of the charges, you could be facing the death penalty. The stakes could not be higher and they require a serious attorney who knows what to expect. You also need an attorney who will listen to you with an open mind and mount a vigorous defense. The Virginia murder and manslaughter attorneys at The Law Offices of Patrick N. Anderson and Associates have experience handling the most serious cases and will give you the experience and aggressiveness you deserve.
There are four main types of charges you may face in the killing of another person:
- Involuntary Manslaughter: If you unintentionally kill another person from your negligence or recklessness, you may be facing involuntary manslaughter charges. Most often, involuntary manslaughter charges stem from a DUI or DWI accident. In Virginia, manslaughter is punishable as a class 5 felony. It can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or up to a fine of $2,500.If you are found guilty of an aggravated involuntary manslaughter charge, you may face up to 20 years in prison.
- Voluntary Manslaughter: If you intentionally kill another person with no prior intent to kill him or her, you may be facing voluntary manslaughter charges. This is often referred to as a “heat of passion” crime. Circumstances surrounding the murder must have caused you to become emotionally or mentally disturbed. If you are facing this charge and circumstances would not have caused you emotional or mental distress, you will likely face first or second-degree murder charges instead. Voluntary manslaughter is punishable as a class 5 felony. It can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or up to a fine of $2,500.
- Second-Degree Murder: If you kill someone with malice, but not as a result from a “heat of passion” killing, you may be charged with second-degree murder. You may also face this charge if prosecutors or other involved officials believe you had an obvious lack of concern for human life when the killing occurred.
- First-Degree Murder: If you kill someone willfully and with malice, deliberation and premeditation, you may be facing first-degree murder charges. It can be enough if the premeditation and deliberation takes place only moments before the murder occurs. It is punishable by a class 2 felony. This means you may be facing life in prison or for at least 20 years as well as a fine of up to $100,000.
- Most often, all murders in Virginia are presumed to be second-degree and are only charged as first-degree when evidence exists that the murder was willful, deliberate and premeditated. It is punishable by up to 40 years in a state correctional facility.
- Murder of a Pregnant Woman or Her Fetus: If you are convicted of willfully killing a pregnant woman, you may face from 10 – 40 years in prison. If you are convicted of killing her fetus willfully, maliciously and with premeditation, you could face up to 40 years in prison for the fetal death. Killing of a fetus is considered a class 2 felony.
If you are facing murder or manslaughter charges, the Law Offices of Patrick N. Anderson and Associates and consult with a Virginia murder crimes attorney. You need a strong, experienced team fighting for your freedoms and we are prepared to work for you to help you obtain the best outcome. With over 25 years of experience, our team has the expertise to defend you. No matter how serious the charges against you, we will work tireless to get you the best outcome possible. Our legal assistance covers the Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, and Northern Virginia territories.