Chesterfield VA Homicide Laws

Homicide rates have been increasing significantly all around the world. Virginia has experienced a huge spike in the homicide rates in the past two years.

What does the term ‘Homicide’ mean?

Homicide is recognized as a serious offence in various countries, as it involves the killing or murder of an individual – regardless of the situation or circumstances. Though each state may have slight variations, the basic definition remains the same, and that is to take the life of another human being. The offense is divided into three major categories:

  1. Manslaughter
  2. Murder
  3. Justified Homicides
  1. Manslaughter

Manslaughter occurs when someone has accidentally killed an individual without having the intention to do so. It is divided into two main categories – voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

Involuntary manslaughter is the lowest form of the offense, as it implies that the perpetrator had no intention of killing anyone, but ended up killing the other individual due to their reckless or criminally neglectful behavior. For instance, if someone drives recklessly whilst being drunk and ends up killing someone – this would be termed as involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter, on the other hand, is when someone ends up accidentally killing an individual in the heat of the moment.

  1. Murder

The offence murder is further divided into three categories:

  1. First Degree Murder
  2. Second Degree Murder
  3. Capital Murder
  1. First degree murder is the worst type of homicide that is done intentionally or purposely. The one who intentionally kills someone is subjected to severe punishments that include death penalty or life imprisonment.
  2. Second Degree Murder is a term used to define the act of killing a person without any planning, for instance, killing a person out of anger due to the heat of the moment.
  3. Justified Homicides, also referred to as excusable homicides, are used to define incidents where the act of murder is committed to saving someone’s life or as a measure of self-defense. For instance, when someone’s being kidnapped, assaulted or raped, if a person kills the one committing the crime – this act will be termed as a justified homicide.

Code Sections that are Applicable on Manslaughters

According to the law of Virginia, the following code sections are applicable on the above-mentioned cases of homicide:

  1. First and second degree manslaughters – code section 18.2 – 32
  2. Capital Murder – Code Section 18.2 – 31
  3. Felony Murder – Code Section 18.2 – 33

Penalties or Punishments for Conducting a Manslaughter

  • The punishment for conducting first degree murders for individuals aged 18 and above ranges from twenty years in jail to life imprisonment. Moreover, the perpetrator will also have to pay a fine of around 100,000 dollars.
  • An individual who commits a second degree murder will be subjected to imprisonment ranging from five to forty years. He will also have to pay a fine of around 100,000 dollars.
  • In case of a capital murder, the punishment for the offence is the death penalty or life imprisonment for people aged 18 and above.
  • For those who have committed a capital murder and are under the age of 18 will have to pay a fine of around 100,000 dollars.