Your Life Depends On The Quality of Your Legal Representation
Violent crimes are among the most serious crimes in Virginia. The consequences can vary from decades of jail time to the death penalty, depending on whether you are charged with malicious wounding, manslaughter or others.
When accused of murder or manslaughter, the public will view you with prejudice, whether or not you’re guilty of such a heinous crime. Because these charges carry such a heavy burden, it’s vital that you hire experienced representation, immediately.
When you need dedicated legal defense for serious violent crimes, contact the attorneys at Cravens and Noll, P.C. We have decades of experience and a track record of successful defense.
Murder and Manslaughter Under Virginia Law
In the state of Virginia, murder and manslaughter of any kind are considered felonies. Felonies are the most serious crimes. Felony sentences vary in severity, but they are significantly enhanced above misdemeanor charges.
Felonies expose an accused to prison time for decades, possibly even a life-time sentence. One can also be fined up to $100,000. The state of Virginia punishes with the death penalty, which is not uncommon for capital murder offenses.
Types of Murder and Manslaughter
There are five types of felonies that are considered homicides:
- Capital Murder: Considered a Class 1 felony, capital murder is defined by the context of the murder. If the murder committed is against a state official, committed in relation to another serious crime, or committed on a child, then it is considered capital murder. Read more on the list of specific definitions for what constitutes capital murder here.
- First Degree Murder: First Degree Murder is characterized by the level of planning involved. If the violent crime is deliberate, premeditated, and/or done with malice, then it is considered first degree murder. This level of murder is a Class 2 felony in Virginia.
- Second Degree Murder: If your homicide does not fall into either capital or first-degree murder, but there is still a level of malice, then it’s considered second degree murder. This level of murder is punishable by no more than 40 years in a state penitentiary.
- Voluntary Manslaughter: Intention is the main difference between murder and manslaughter. For voluntary manslaughter, the accused is deemed to have killed someone after being provoked, essentially acting without thinking or reason. In Virginia, this crime is considered a Class 5 felony.
- Involuntary Manslaughter: Where voluntary manslaughter is provoked but unplanned, involuntary manslaughter is a homicide that is committed unintentionally. An example would be a reckless driver killing a bystander, since they most likely did not plan to hurt anyone when they got into their car. This crime is also considered a Class 5 felony in Virginia.
No matter the level of homicide an accused has been charged, there are serious punishments if convicted. The law is clear about what is murder and manslaughter, and the commonwealth’s attorney will do everything in their power to get a conviction, especially so if you are not prepared.
Consequences of a Murder or Manslaughter Conviction
If you are convicted in a homicide case, you understand the severity of the situation. A conviction will completely upend your life and future prospects. If you are charged with a felony and are released from prison, you will lose access to many of your rights as part of your punishment.
- Right to vote
- Right to hold office
- Right to serve on a jury
- Right to own a firearm
- Job opportunities
- Public housing
- Social benefits
- Travel to some countries
- Parental rights
- Educational benefits (loans, admissions)
Not all of these losses are tied to the law. Some of these, like employment and housing, are tied to public perception. In general, convicted felons are viewed in a negative light and no amount of personal reform can convince some people otherwise. Avoid the stigma. Hire the best, most experienced attorney you know.
Your Life Depends on The Quality of Your Legal Representation
If you have been charged with homicide, you face a lengthy prison sentence or even the death penalty. There is no choice more important than retaining experienced representation.
The attorneys at Cravens and Noll have successfully defended murder and manslaughter cases for over 35 years. Our murder defense lawyers know how to prepare to fight and win these cases. If guilty, we will fight to reduce your sentence exposure so that you might one day get your life back.
Experienced Representation & Thorough Preparation
Whether you are facing charges of murder, manslaughter or another violent crime, we will do everything within the bounds of the law to zealously represent you.
Our experienced lawyers will tap into decades of previous cases to find arguments to present your case in front of a judge or jury. We will motivate them to consider all of the basis of punishment beyond societal retribution.
We will prepare you for trial, making sure you present your best self. We will also conduct our own investigation into the case. We will seek out the evidence of the prosecution. We will leave no stone unturned!
Fighting for You and Your Rights
Our attorneys will negotiate on your behalf and at your direction to attempt to reduce the charges or improve your opportunity to develop a plea agreement with the prosecutor. Above all else, we are in your corner for the entire proceeding. You’re not a number to us, you’re a human being with a life left to live. We are dedicated to ensuring that you live that life free.
Experienced, Aggressive Defense Attorneys in Richmond, VA
When you need the best legal defense possible for a serious allegation of violent crime, you need the attorneys at Cravens and Noll, P.C.
Our years of experience in defense cases and dedication to our individual clients gives you an advantage in the court room that many criminal defense defendants never get. You are an email or phone call away.
Contact us to schedule a consultation and discuss your specific case. We will listen to your story and figure out the best way to get you the best legal defense when you need it most.
Your Murder & Manslaughter Lawyers In Virginia
Giving You Peace of Mind — Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience representing clients who are facing extraordinary challenges. Every case is unique, and that’s why you need professional legal counsel to help you decide your next steps. Contact one of our attorneys today to learn more.
J. Thompson Cravens
Joe Cravens is a proud veteran of the United States Army and has practiced in the areas of personal injury, criminal law, domestic relations and military law for over 30 years. He is a life member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.View Profile
David Edward Noll
David Noll’s primary focus is working directly with his clients in order to strongly advocate the best possible result. He has been representing Virginians for over two decades in all things civil litigation.View Profile
W. Allan Burns Jr.
Allan Burns is a University of Richmond Law School alum. He excels in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, business law and personal injury.View Profile
Tameka W. Robinson
Senior Associate Attorney
Tameka Robinson is passionate about equal access to justice and juvenile justice issues and taking care of her community. She is engaged in various community service events, cheers for her hometown teams, the Yankees, Giants and the Knicks and loves traveling wherever the road may lead.View Profile
Kent Benninger graduated from Liberty University both undergraduate and Law before moving to Richmond in 2016. He began his career with a focus on Criminal Law.View Profile
Eppa Hunton VI
Eppa Hunton grew up in the Richmond area before falling in love with the Shenandoah Valley while attending Washington & Lee University in Lexington. He now heads Cravens & Noll’s Harrisonburg office and enjoys exploring the natural beauty of the area.View Profile
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