Violent crimes in Virginia carry significant penalties, and prosecutors often push for the harshest sentences possible. This is particularly true for manslaughter cases. If you or somebody you care about has been charged with manslaughter, the team at Randall Page, P.C. standing by to help. Our Virginia criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience helping clients through these difficult cases. We have the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into your case and build a sound defense so we can represent you both inside and outside of the courtroom. Our attorneys regularly help clients facing serious criminal offenses throughout the Courtland, Suffolk, Emporia, and Lawrenceville areas.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, voluntary manslaughter is typically defined through case law as opposed to the statute. The actual definition of voluntary manslaughter dates back more than 100 years and defines this as unlawful killing without malice. We want to point out that malice is not the same thing as intent. Rather, malice is defined as the commission of an act out of viciousness or evil. The intent is defined as the purposeful commission of an act. Therefore, a person can intend to commit a crime, but without malice.
In order for a person to face voluntary manslaughter charges, there must have been the intent. In a voluntary manslaughter case, you will often hear of it described as being committed in the heat of passion or after being provoked. In these cases, there is no prior planning involved, but there is intent.
When we turn to Virginia Code §18.2-35, we can see that voluntary manslaughter is a Class 5 felony offense punishable by one to 10 years in prison.
Case law defines involuntary manslaughter as an accidental killing committed either during an unlawful act that is not a felony or when someone is killed during an improperly performed yet otherwise lawful act. There are various ways that a person can face involuntary manslaughter charges. In these cases, we will generally see that there is neither malice nor intent involved in the killing.
Under Virginia Code §18.2-35, involuntary manslaughter is also a Class 5 felony offense, punishable by one to 10 years in prison. However, the law also says that if the conduct of the person convicted is deemed so “gross, wanton and culpable asked to show a reckless disregard for human life,” then they could be charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter and face up to 20 years in prison (one year mandatory).
If you or somebody you love has been arrested and charged with manslaughter in the Courtland, Suffolk, Emporia, or Lawrenceville areas, contact an attorney as soon as possible for help with your case. The team at Randall Page P.C. has the resources and experience you need to fight these charges. We will work to distinguish murder from manslaughter while also building a strong defense on your behalf as we work for your exoneration. When you need a Virginia manslaughter defense attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 757-517-8956.