Richmond Voluntary Manslaughter Defense Lawyer

Have you been accused of voluntary manslaughter? Even if you are currently under investigation for this or any related crime and formal charges have not been filed against you, you may be in danger of facing felony charges in the near future. You need a Richmond criminal defense lawyer to protect your legal rights in order to help you avoid the serious penalties associated with this offense.

About Voluntary Manslaughter

When a person is accused of causing the death of another person without lawful excuse, he or she may face criminal homicide charges. The severity of charges will vary depending primarily on the intent of the individual in committing the act, as well as the circumstances around the offense. Intentionally causing another's death by pre-planning or lying in wait will typically result in murder charges, but if a defendant stands accused of causing the death of another person in the heat of passion or in a reckless or criminally negligent manner, he or she may face voluntary or involuntary manslaughter charges instead.

Voluntary manslaughter is the more serious of the two types of manslaughter charges. While involuntary manslaughter typically involves negligence or recklessness, voluntary manslaughter may involve the intentional killing of another person with a lack of prior intent to do so. These offenses often relate to a death caused under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to become extremely upset or mentally disturbed. For example, walking in on one's spouse in bed with another person may cause a person to become violent in the heat of the moment.

Under Virginia Code 18.2-35, voluntary manslaughter is classified as a Class 5 felony offense, punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison.

Do not place your future at risk by choosing to forgo legal counsel or by waiting too long to hire an attorney. Contact a Richmond criminal defense attorney at our firm to discuss your voluntary manslaughter charges and how we can help you.