Virginia Homicide lawyer
The consequences for a conviction of homicide are harsh. Prosecutors attack these cases with the utmost diligence, perseverance, and determination. If law enforcement has you under investigation, or if you have been arrested and charged with homicide, then you need an aggressive, thorough, and experienced Fairfax County homicide lawyer to defend you against the charges.
In a homicide case, every possible defense is available to the accused; however, the stakes are extremely high. No prosecutor wants to lose a murder case. For that reason, you need a Fairfax County homicide lawyer from Jezic & Moyse LLC. who can conduct an extensive investigation and discovery. Our criminal defense attorneys are well educated in forensic evidence and highly skilled in direct questioning and cross-examinations of expert witnesses.
How the Law Views Homicide
The law defines homicide as the killing of one individual by another. “Excusable” or “justifiable” homicide would include those authorized by the state (death penalty) or for which there exists a defense to criminal homicide, such as self-defense.
Criminal homicide covers all other situations, and traditionally, the law categorizes them into three types of offenses: murder, involuntary manslaughter, and voluntary manslaughter.
Common law defined murder as the unlawful killing of another person with “malice aforethought.” Malice indicates ill will and a “wickedness of heart.” Aforethought indicates deliberation and premeditation. Both conditions must be proven beyond reasonable doubt to secure a conviction.
For “malice aforethought,” the defendant had to demonstrate either: (1) the intent to kill, (2) the intent to inflict great bodily injury, (3) intent to commit a felony, (4) or reckless indifference to an unjustifiable high risk to human life.
The courts differentiate between voluntary manslaughter and murder by the presence of adequate provocation. For example, if a husband returns home and finds his wife in bed with another man, and in a moment of blind rage and intense passion without any chance to reflect on his actions, he kills the other man,then the law may find him guilty of the lesser crime of voluntary manslaughter.
The courts consider involuntary manslaughter as a death caused by criminal negligence. This means the accused did not intend to kill the other person; however, his or her failure to exercise appropriate care can create criminal liability for the accused, although to a lesser degree than premeditated and deliberate murder.
Modern laws differentiate between degrees of murder. The majority of states call premeditated, deliberate killings “first degree murder.” Other categories of criminal homicide fall into second or third degree murder. In Virginia, first-degree murder is a Class 2 felony subject to 20 years to life in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000. A second-degree murder conviction can incur 5-40 years in prison. These severe penalties can destroy your life, so call our attorneys immediately if this is your situation.
Felony-murder may be charged in cases in which another person is killed in the commission of a dangerous felony, such as arson, rape, kidnapping, or robbery. To pursue a conviction under the felony-murder statutes, the prosecution does not need to establish that the accused intended to kill the victim, just that the death was a foreseeable consequence while committing the other felony. In this way, the prosecution can use the “malice aforethought” in committing the other crime to establish the malicious state of mind necessary to obtain a murder conviction.
Virginia Homicide Lawyer
At the law offices of Jezic & Moyse, LLC we defend clients from many types of murder and homicide charges, including:
- First degree murder
- Second degree murder
- Capital murder involving the death penalty
- Voluntary and involuntary manslaughter
- Attempted murder
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Murder for hire
With a conviction for any one of the offenses, you could face prison and a felony record. Call Jezic & Moyse, LLC immediately to protect your rights and secure an aggressive legal defense.
If law enforcement questions you about any involvement in a crime, charges you with a felony or misdemeanor offense, or arrests you on a criminal complaint, you have a Constitutional right to have an attorney. Prior to answering questions or providing any statements to law enforcement, contact Jon Oates at Jezic & Moyse, LLC., so that he can advise you immediately on how to protect your rights. Through diligence, experience, and integrity, he will seek every option to resolve your case in acquittal, dismissal, reduced charges, or the lightest sentence.