A Virginia Homicide Lawyer Helps You Fight Charges


If you are facing homicide charges, it is best to develop a solid defense working with Virginia homicide lawyer Gretchen Taylor Pousson of Scrofano Law P.C.

Virginia Homicide Lawyer

Violent crimes receive the harshest penalties, and if you are accused of killing another person, you require the services of a reliable Virginia homicide attorney.

Of all possible offenses a person can be convicted of, murder is one of the only crimes that receives the death penalty. Usually, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the case of the accused, the consequences include:

  • Criminal record
  • Crippling fines
  • Lengthy prison time

If you require a Fairfax criminal defense for felony charges of homicide, you need a criminal lawyer qualified to help you avoid a felony conviction. Gretchen Taylor Pousson can offer advice and a skilled Virginia criminal defense strategy for various D.C. assault crimes. Contact Scrofano Law, P.C. for a consultation.

Homicide Attorney in Virginia for Criminal Cases

Homicide is the unlawful killing of one human life by another human and is considered a violent felony offense. In Virginia law, there are five classes of homicide crimes:

  1. Aggravated murder
  2. First-degree murder
  3. Second-degree murder
  4. Voluntary manslaughter
  5. Involuntary manslaughter

These categories include intentional and unintentional or accidental killing and will be punished as a Class 1 felony.

However, murder, excluding aggravated murder, in which the person has used poison or any other way of a premeditated killing, would be considered murder of the first degree and punishable as a Class 2 felony.

When someone is arrested by law enforcement officials or receives a felony charge, they are likely anxious and disoriented and need the help of a homicide attorney in Virginia to stabilize and begin contemplating their future.

If you are accused of a felony offense involving several crimes, you need the help of experienced criminal defense lawyers. When your charges include drug offenses and other such crimes, you need criminal defense attorneys capable of focusing on the more severe offenses.

You should get a free case evaluation from a local law firm with a successful history of defending misdemeanor or felony charges when facing criminal charges. When you are charged with a crime, you want a local law firm with multiple practice areas capable of waging a professional defense if you are charged with other crimes.

Best Homicide Lawyers

The best homicide lawyers are thoroughly informed on the changing nature of Virginia law and the current interpretations. Therefore, they can identify how the prosecution will likely pursue a guilty verdict and how to build an optimal defense against it.

Virginia Code Title 18.2 outlines the details of the various homicide cases, degrees, events, methods, victims, and punishments for each. Section 18.2-30 declares all murder and manslaughter charges to be felonies that can result in as much as a $100,000 fine and a sentence of life in prison.

A northern Virginia criminal lawyer will work to achieve a verdict of “not guilty” and may help you avoid potential penalties if you are found guilty.


High-Ranking Homicide Lawyer in Virginia

Having the counsel of a high-ranking homicide lawyer in Virginia provides the security and options you need when dealing with a criminal charge. Homicide is defined as one person killing another. The three categories are justifiable homicide, murder/nonnegligent manslaughter, and negligent manslaughter. 

  • Justifiable homicide: when another kills a criminally offending perpetrator

  • Murder/nonnegligent manslaughter: one person is willfully killed by another

  • Negligent manslaughter: one person is negligently killed by another

Although this may be the first time you have had to consider the potential consequences of a criminal offense, Virginia criminal lawyers have seen murder and manslaughter charges result in various ways. They know what they need to do to improve the chances of getting a favorable outcome for yours.

Average Cost of a Homicide Attorney

Hiring a Virginia criminal defense attorney is always an unexpected expense, leaving many to wonder what the average cost of a homicide attorney is. The amount your legal team will charge for handling your case is based on the following factors:

  • The complexity of the case
  • Lawyer’s experience and skills
  • Lawyer’s reputation
  • Location
  • The severity of the charges

So, basically, the cost depends on the difficulty of your case and the qualifications of the law firm you hire to represent you. If you can’t afford one, the court will appoint a criminal defense lawyer for you. Court-appointed attorneys, however, are usually overworked and underpaid. Therefore, it is doubtful that you’ll get the same quality of counsel that you would if you hired your own.


How Much Should I Have to Hire a Homicide Lawyer

Since you want the best defense you can afford, you will want to know how much you should have to hire a homicide lawyer. In VA, the typical lawyer charges between $200 and $400 per hour.

Generally, since different variables affect the bottom line, Virginia criminal lawyers avoid quoting an exact fee until after an initial consultation and often not until after they’ve spoken to a potential client at some length. This allows them to review the police report and evidence to estimate how many court dates and how much work your case will take.

Your lawyer will provide an hourly rate or, for simple cases, a flat fee and sometimes a retainer (an up-front fee from which the lawyer deducts hourly rates). When that amount is gone, they bill the client for any additional payments. After consulting with the firm, you will better understand how much your case will cost.

Hiring a DUI attorney or homicide lawyer is an expense most people don’t plan for. Although it can be costly to hire adequate representation, the price for failing to do so can be much higher.

Why You Should Hire a Homicide Attorney

There are many reasons why you should hire a homicide attorney, including the peace of mind having their support might provide. However, their ability to possibly help you avoid severe consequences for a crime you may or may not have committed is the primary one.

Capital murder is defined in § 18.2-31 as the willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of another. It is considered the most heinous of crimes. Section 18.2-32 outlines first and second-degree murder. First-degree murder is also deliberate and premeditated, whereas, according to  § 18.2-33, the second-degree includes killing “in the heat of the moment” and accidentally under certain circumstances.

Sections 18.2-35 and 18.2-36 define voluntary and involuntary manslaughter as Class 5 felonies, with the difference being that involuntary manslaughter is the result of a negligent or reckless act like a DUI. With the lines between the charges being so fine, it is easy to see how a skilled attorney may have serious offenses reduced to lesser charges.


When Do I Need a Lawyer for Homicide?

With so much at stake, you may wonder, “When do I need a lawyer for homicide?” The short answer is as soon as you believe you are under suspicion of causing the death of another, you should seek the advice of an attorney. Failure to do so may result in the following:

  • Capital murder charges: death penalty or life imprisonment

  • First-degree murder: 20 years to life imprisonment

  • Second-degree murder: 5 to 40 years in prison

  • Voluntary and involuntary manslaughter: fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison

Consider speaking with a V.A. homicide attorney if you find yourself the target of a homicide investigation.

What to Consider When Hiring a Homicide Lawyer

One of the aspects you may want to consider when hiring a homicide lawyer is how familiar they are with other types of criminal offenses. Often the prosecution will link a crime such as murder to other contributing or correlating offenses such as the following:

  • Domestic violence
  • Drug crimes like drug possession
  • DUI
  • Gun offenses
  • Reckless driving
  • Sex crimes

When you are charged with several felony offenses, you need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the various misdemeanor offenses and felony criminal charges and help you avoid a serious criminal conviction.

A skilled V.A. homicide lawyer can help you fight charges and improve your case’s chances of a favorable outcome. Some of the most common ways a lawyer can help you fight these charges are by finding out:

  • Whether evidence was gathered in violation of your civil rights

  • The credibility of eye-witnesses

  • If there were signs that the killing occurred in self-defense

  • If the state’s case is based on circumstantial evidence and no hard facts

  • If there are grounds for establishing a case on mental illness or insanity

Your lawyer can also have forensic testing to determine if ballistics, DNA, and other data match the prosecution’s claims. They may even want to hire their private investigator to inspect the evidence or seek out and interview witnesses who may help your case. Such additional resources are unavailable to court-appointed attorneys, so hiring your lawyer typically results in a better defense.


How to Get the Best Homicide Lawyer in Virginia

If you have been charged with a felony homicide, you must know how to get the best homicide lawyer in Virginia. Although hiring an experienced Virginia criminal lawyer can be pricey, it may be your only choice when facing life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Contact Gretchen Taylor Pousson of Scrofano Law, P.C., for a consultation with criminal defense lawyers. He can apprise you of your options and help you build a solid criminal defense to avoid the most severe penalties.


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