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Richmond Manslaughter Attorney

Manslaughter Charges? Cody Villalon Attorney Provides Skilled And Dedicated Defense.

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There’s no question that any type of crime in Virginia that results in the loss of human life is serious and severe. While murder charges are filed when someone intentionally kills someone else, manslaughter charges are filed in cases when accidental or unintended loss of life occurs.

If you are charged with manslaughter, the case is not as severe as murder; however, dealing with this type of serious felony charge will still put your freedom and future at risk. Because of the serious penalties you may face with this charge, it’s highly recommended that you get in touch with a Richmond manslaughter charge lawyer right away.

If you need assistance with manslaughter charges in Richmond, Virginia, Cody Villalon has over 10 years of experience handling cases just like these. He has defended more than 1,000 cases and spent over 5,000 hours in court, so you can feel confident in his ability to help with your case and situation.

Why Choose Us?

If you are searching for an experienced, professional manslaughter defense lawyer to keep your best interests in mind throughout the legal process, our legal team has you covered. We will investigate the facts of your case and help build a custom defense to have the charges reduced or dropped. Even if this is impossible, we will work with the prosecution to negotiate a reduced consequence for the crime you are convicted of.

You can count on us to provide aggressive representation from the beginning until the final verdict is handed down. The first step is to get in touch with our legal team to schedule an initial consultation.

Understanding the Factors That Will Impact Your Legal Case

Usually, your manslaughter case will depend on the situation and circumstances surrounding the charges. Our goal will be to determine your specific intent, which can make a huge outcome in the case. Because of this, it is essential that you hire a skilled defense attorney with prior experience handling complex cases like this and who has a track record of success.

Whether you are facing involuntary or voluntary manslaughter charges, you need an experienced manslaughter lawyer in Richmond, VA, to represent you. You can count on our Richmond manslaughter lawyer to provide you with the quality and effective defense you want, need, and deserve.

Understanding Voluntary Manslaughter Charges

Virginia is one of the few states that defines voluntary manslaughter by case law instead of by statute. The definition for this charge dates to 1846 and the case of McWhirt v. Commonwealth. According to this, manslaughter is an unlawful killing with no malice. You should note that malice and intent aren’t the same things. Malice is when an act is done out of viciousness or evil. Intent refers to an act that is done purposefully. It is possible for intent to be present without malice, and intent is an important part of a voluntary manslaughter charge.

If someone’s death is charged as voluntary manslaughter, it usually occurs in situations of “passion” or after someone is provoked. While there is no planning of the killing, there is intent.

An example of voluntary manslaughter would be if you returned home to find that your spouse was having an affair. You may become “blind with rage” and strike one of them with something heavy, resulting in their death. In this situation, you will likely face voluntary manslaughter charges. In this case, there was no malice, but you did feel passionate about the situation, which meant that you had an intent to cause harm. This is clear in this example because you picked up and used something to hurt one of the people.

It’s worth mentioning that while killing someone while enraged is voluntary manslaughter, if you take time to cool off and no longer have this “passion or rage,” then the same crime is considered murder. A Richmond homicide lawyer can provide more insight into these distinctions, and if faced with such a situation, you will likely be charged with homicide.

In this situation, your state of mind and your level of “passion” at the time of the killing play a huge role in what you are charged with. Also, cases of voluntary manslaughter are charged as a Class 5 felony and come with prison sentences ranging from one to 10 years and fines.

Understanding Involuntary Manslaughter Charges

Another charge you may face is involuntary manslaughter. This occurs when an accidental killing occurs during some type of unlawful act that is not a felony. It can also occur when someone is killed because of a lawful but improperly performed act. Because involuntary manslaughter charges can result from illegal or legal actions, there are a few ways you may be charged.

One example would be if someone unlawfully discharged a gun or firearm close to a crowd and someone is hit and dies. In this situation, the shooter probably did not intend to cause harm, but they can face involuntary manslaughter charges. Consulting with a Richmond gun charge lawyer would be crucial for anyone facing such charges. Also, if someone undergoes a legal action in a reckless manner, it may lead to charges of involuntary manslaughter. An example of this would be a doctor who does not hook up their patent’s oxygen properly during surgery, and they die because of it. In this situation, the doctor can be charged with involuntary manslaughter because of the negligent care of the doctor.

In the state of Virginia, there’s another provision related to charges of involuntary manslaughter. This relates to causing the death of someone else while you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If someone gets behind the wheel while they are intoxicated, they may not have the intent to hurt someone else. However, any reasonable person understands that driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol poses a huge risk to other people on the road.

In Virginia, cases of involuntary manslaughter can be a Class 5 felony charge. This is not the case if your actions are seen as a reckless disregard for human life. In this situation, you can face an aggravated manslaughter case, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison with a minimum time served of one year.


When it comes to Virginia manslaughter charges, there are usually a lot of questions about them. Some of the most common questions asked have been answered here.

The charge of manslaughter is used when a person is killed by someone else, but the killing is not premeditated. In the state of Virginia, it is involuntary manslaughter if you cause the unintentional death of another person. This includes driving or operating a boat or another vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Charges of voluntary manslaughter is a type of homicide that takes place with no premeditation, malice, or deliberation. It occurs when an intentional killing is committed and is a type of “heat of passion” situation that results from provocation.

The following charges are considered felonies in Virginia:

  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Murder of the second degree
  • Murder of the first degree
  • Aggravated murder.

If you are unsure if your case is a felony, you should work with an attorney who can investigate the situation and help build a defense for it.

The state of Virginia is one of the few states that defines all manslaughter charges based on case law instead of statutes. As mentioned above, manslaughter is when someone unlawfully kills someone without malice. It is often considered a crime of passion, but malice is not the same thing as committing the crime intentionally.

Potential Defenses for Manslaughter Charges in Virginia

Whether the killing of someone is charged as involuntary or voluntary manslaughter, there is a good chance that the crime will be prosecuted as a serious felony, just like a murder charge would. The main objective of a defense in this case is to convince the jury that you didn’t commit the crime or that the incident did not meet the standards for either of these offenses. Because of how difficult it can be to build a solid defense to these charges, it is recommended that you work with an experienced Richmond felony lawyer. They will understand the law and be able to help you build a viable and effective defense for your manslaughter charges.

It’s important to note that a lot is going to depend on the circumstances that resulted in your charges. When you hire our top-rated defense team, you can feel confident that your defense strategy will be effective, and this will help you work toward reducing or even eliminating the potential consequences of the charges you face.

The first step an attorney is going to take is to scrutinize the evidence that the prosecution has against you and review all the facts related to the case. If you were acting out of the need to protect yourself or someone else from serious bodily harm or even death, then you may be able to make an argument that you were acting in self-defense. Also, there is often a rush to handle these investigations, which means that mistakes may have been made. Your knowledgeable attorney will conduct their own investigation to determine whether mistakes were made so that they can use this information to help with your defense.

An example would be if something was found during a search without a warrant. If facing legal challenges like this, consulting a robbery defense lawyer can be beneficial, especially in cases of alleged theft. Other mistakes that may help your defense include evidence that was not collected properly or examined. In these situations, your attorney can work to have these items excluded from evidence, so that they cannot be used against you. Also, if you are able to show that the person’s death occurred because of an accident that was not intentional or reckless, the charges can be dismissed or reduced in many cases.

Let Our Legal Team Help with Your Manslaughter Charges

There is no question that manslaughter charges are serious. They carry serious penalties, including significant fines and jail time. When you understand the potential consequences of the charge, it will help you understand why you need an experienced, aggressive attorney on your side.

When you hire us, you can feel confident you will get the quality, professional, and experienced legal representation you need for your case. You can also feel confident that we will guide you through the entire legal process while keeping you updated on what is going on.

When you contact the legal team at Cody Villalon, Attorney at Law, you can feel confident that you will get the highest quality legal defense available for your voluntary or involuntary manslaughter charges from a capable Richmond criminal defense lawyer. The first step is to get in touch to schedule an initial consultation where we can discuss your case.

Attorney Cody Villalon Richmond, VA


Cody Villalon is a criminal defense attorney in Richmond, VA representing clients accused of violent offenses and DUIs, and he specializes in serious criminal charges. He possesses more than 10 years of legal experience, has defended more than 1,000 cases, and has spent more than 5,000 hours in court. He is highly professional and well-respected by prosecutors and judges. [ Attorney Bio ]


  • Virginia Criminal Defense Assoc.
  • Best Defense Award
  • Best DUI Lawyer Award
  • Best DUI Lawyer Award
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