Chesapeake Manslaughter Lawyer

When you are arrested for manslaughter, it is understandably a stressful experience. Both manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter are felonies that carry significant jail time and other long-term consequences. Although less serious than a murder accusation, a manslaughter allegation should not be taken lightly.

Choosing the right homicide defense attorney to represent you can make all the difference in your case. A Chesapeake manslaughter lawyer can review the evidence against you and advise you on how to proceed. Our dedicated attorneys are trained to identify the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We will advocate for you every step of the way to ensure you have a fair trial and that your rights are protected throughout the criminal justice process.

Manslaughter Charges in Virginia

Manslaughter is defined as the act of killing another person unlawfully and without malice. It is often known as a crime of passion. Unlike murder, which involves a level of premeditation or planning, voluntary manslaughter involves killing while there is a heated altercation or provocation. It may also occur during a sudden fight where the person’s instinct is to protect themself from harm. An example of voluntary manslaughter would be coming home and catching a spouse with another person and then killing them out of anger. With voluntary manslaughter, there is not enough time to cool off before the crime occurs. In contrast, murder charges require malice and premeditation.

On the other hand, involuntary manslaughter involves the accidental killing of another person. For example, it could involve a car accident where the driver was texting and driving and hurt another person or a situation where a person gave drugs or alcohol to an underage individual who died as a result. These killings did not occur because of a voluntary act, but a death resulted, and under the law, the accused can be held responsible. An attorney in Chesapeake can fully explain a manslaughter charge under state law.

Criminal Penalties for a Manslaughter Conviction

Manslaughter is a Class 5 felony; however, the penalty will depend on whether the killing was voluntary or involuntary. If convicted of manslaughter, a person faces one to ten years of imprisonment and a potential fine of $2,500.

For involuntary manslaughter, the penalty is similar, but a judge has some discretion based on the circumstances of the case. Those convicted of involuntary manslaughter face a maximum of ten years in state prison plus up to a $2500 fine. A Chesapeake lawyer can review a manslaughter case and determine the possible consequences.

Possible Defenses to Manslaughter Charges

When someone is charged with manslaughter, there are potential defenses available that can drastically reduce their prison time or defeat the charges entirely. A good defense strategy makes all the difference in a criminal case. Some common defense tactics an attorney in Chesapeake might use for manslaughter charges include:

  • Self-defense or defense of others
  • Insanity or proving mental incompetence
  • Accidental killing (plead to lesser involuntary manslaughter)
  • Innocence
  • Constitutional violations
  • Insufficient evidence of guilt

If you are facing charges of manslaughter, work with an attorney to develop a defense strategy based on the unique facts and circumstances of your case.

Consult a Chesapeake Manslaughter Attorney

We understand that you have many choices when it comes to a criminal defense attorney. At Parks Zeigler, we have years of experience representing clients accused of manslaughter and similar offenses. The prosecution bears a heavy burden in criminal cases, meaning you cannot be convicted if there is insufficient evidence of your guilt.

When you retain an experienced defense attorney, they can conduct an independent investigation into the allegations and gather evidence to support your defense. We are prepared to fight for you every step of the way to ensure the process is fair. We understand the odds may seem stacked against you, and it may be tempting to take a plea deal. However, this may not always be in your best interest, and it is advisable to consult a legal professional about your defense options. The best thing you can do is hire a Chesapeake manslaughter lawyer to represent you.

Areas We Serve

With an office near Town Center, Virginia Beach and a second location beside the Chesapeake courthouse, our team provides quality legal representation across the entire Hampton Roads Area.

  • Virginia Beach
  • Hampton
  • Chesapeake
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Yorktown
  • Portsmouth
  • Accomack County
  • Suffolk
  • Northampton County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
4768 Euclid Road,
Suite 103

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
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524 Albemarle Drive,
Suite 200

Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
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200 N. Water Street,
Suite 2A

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
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