Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
6/24/2017

Article 1. Homicide.

§ 18.2-30. Murder and manslaughter declared felonies.

Any person who commits capital murder, murder of the first degree, murder of the second degree, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter, shall be guilty of a felony.

1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-31. Capital murder defined; punishment.

The following offenses shall constitute capital murder, punishable as a Class 1 felony:

1. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of abduction, as defined in § 18.2-48, when such abduction was committed with the intent to extort money or a pecuniary benefit or with the intent to defile the victim of such abduction;

2. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person by another for hire;

3. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person by a prisoner confined in a state or local correctional facility as defined in § 53.1-1, or while in the custody of an employee thereof;

4. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of robbery or attempted robbery;

5. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of, or subsequent to, rape or attempted rape, forcible sodomy or attempted forcible sodomy or object sexual penetration;

6. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of a law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101, a fire marshal appointed pursuant to § 27-30 or a deputy or an assistant fire marshal appointed pursuant to § 27-36, when such fire marshal or deputy or assistant fire marshal has police powers as set forth in §§ 27-34.2 and 27-34.2:1, an auxiliary police officer appointed or provided for pursuant to §§ 15.2-1731 and 15.2-1733, an auxiliary deputy sheriff appointed pursuant to § 15.2-1603, or any law-enforcement officer of another state or the United States having the power to arrest for a felony under the laws of such state or the United States, when such killing is for the purpose of interfering with the performance of his official duties;

7. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of more than one person as a part of the same act or transaction;

8. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of more than one person within a three-year period;

9. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of or attempted commission of a violation of § 18.2-248, involving a Schedule I or II controlled substance, when such killing is for the purpose of furthering the commission or attempted commission of such violation;

10. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person by another pursuant to the direction or order of one who is engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise as defined in subsection I of § 18.2-248;

11. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of a pregnant woman by one who knows that the woman is pregnant and has the intent to cause the involuntary termination of the woman's pregnancy without a live birth;

12. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of a person under the age of fourteen by a person age twenty-one or older;

13. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person by another in the commission of or attempted commission of an act of terrorism as defined in § 18.2-46.4;

14. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of a justice of the Supreme Court, a judge of the Court of Appeals, a judge of a circuit court or district court, a retired judge sitting by designation or under temporary recall, or a substitute judge appointed under § 16.1-69.9:1 when the killing is for the purpose of interfering with his official duties as a judge; and

15. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any witness in a criminal case after a subpoena has been issued for such witness by the court, the clerk, or an attorney, when the killing is for the purpose of interfering with the person's duties in such case.

If any one or more subsections, sentences, or parts of this section shall be judged unconstitutional or invalid, such adjudication shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remaining provisions thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the specific provisions so held unconstitutional or invalid.

Code 1950, §§ 18.1-21, 53-291; 1960, c. 358; 1962, c. 42; 1966, c. 300; 1970, c. 648; 1973, c. 403; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1976, c. 503; 1977, c. 478; 1979, c. 582; 1980, c. 221; 1981, c. 607; 1982, c. 636; 1983, c. 175; 1985, c. 428; 1988, c. 550; 1989, c. 527; 1990, c. 746; 1991, c. 232; 1995, c. 340; 1996, cc. 876, 959; 1997, cc. 235, 313, 514, 709; 1998, c. 887; 2002, cc. 588, 623; 2007, cc. 844, 845, 846; 2010, cc. 399, 428, 475.

§ 18.2-32. First and second degree murder defined; punishment.

Murder, other than capital murder, by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, or by any willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or in the commission of, or attempt to commit, arson, rape, forcible sodomy, inanimate or animate object sexual penetration, robbery, burglary or abduction, except as provided in § 18.2-31, is murder of the first degree, punishable as a Class 2 felony.

All murder other than capital murder and murder in the first degree is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than forty years.

Code 1950, § 18.1-21; 1960, c. 358; 1962, c. 42; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1976, c. 503; 1977, cc. 478, 492; 1981, c. 397; 1993, cc. 463, 490; 1998, c. 281.

§ 18.2-32.1. Murder of a pregnant woman; penalty.

The willful and deliberate killing of a pregnant woman without premeditation by one who knows that the woman is pregnant and has the intent to cause the involuntary termination of the woman's pregnancy without a live birth shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of not less than ten years nor more than forty years.

1997, c. 709.

§ 18.2-32.2. Killing a fetus; penalty.

A. Any person who unlawfully, willfully, deliberately, maliciously and with premeditation kills the fetus of another is guilty of a Class 2 felony.

B. Any person who unlawfully, willfully, deliberately and maliciously kills the fetus of another is guilty of a felony punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than 40 years.

2004, cc. 1023, 1026.

§ 18.2-32.3. Human infant; independent and separate existence.

For the purposes of this article, the fact that the umbilical cord has not been cut or that the placenta remains attached shall not be considered in determining whether a human infant has achieved an independent and separate existence.

2010, cc. 810, 851.

§ 18.2-33. Felony homicide defined; punishment.

The killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act other than those specified in §§ 18.2-31 and 18.2-32, is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five years nor more than forty years.

1975, cc. 14, 15; 1999, c. 282.

§ 18.2-34. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 18.2-35. How voluntary manslaughter punished.

Voluntary manslaughter is punishable as a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-24; 1960, c. 358; 1972, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-36. How involuntary manslaughter punished.

Involuntary manslaughter is punishable as a Class 5 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-25; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1982, c. 301.

§ 18.2-36.1. Certain conduct punishable as involuntary manslaughter.

A. Any person who, as a result of driving under the influence in violation of clause (ii), (iii), or (iv) of § 18.2-266 or any local ordinance substantially similar thereto unintentionally causes the death of another person, shall be guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

B. If, in addition, the conduct of the defendant was so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life, he shall be guilty of aggravated involuntary manslaughter, a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one nor more than 20 years, one year of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.

C. The provisions of this section shall not preclude prosecution under any other homicide statute. This section shall not preclude any other revocation or suspension required by law. The driver's license of any person convicted under this section shall be revoked pursuant to subsection B of § 46.2-391.

1989, cc. 554, 574; 1992, c. 862; 1994, cc. 635, 682; 1999, cc. 945, 987; 2000, cc. 956, 982; 2004, c. 461.

§ 18.2-36.2. Involuntary manslaughter; operating a watercraft while under the influence; penalties.

A. Any person who, as a result of operating a watercraft or motorboat in violation of clause (ii), (iii), or (iv) of subsection B of § 29.1-738 or a similar local ordinance, unintentionally causes the death of another person, is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

B. If, in addition, the conduct of the defendant was so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life, he shall be guilty of aggravated involuntary manslaughter, a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one nor more than 20 years, one year of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.

C. The provisions of this section shall not preclude prosecution under any other homicide statute. The court shall order any person convicted under this section not to operate a watercraft or motorboat that is underway upon the waters of the Commonwealth. After five years have passed from the date of the conviction, the convicted person may petition the court that entered the conviction for the right to operate a watercraft or motorboat upon the waters of the Commonwealth. Upon consideration of such petition, the court may restore the right to operate a watercraft or motorboat subject to such terms and conditions as the court deems appropriate, including the successful completion of a water safety alcohol rehabilitation program described in § 29.1-738.5.

2005, c. 376.

§ 18.2-37. How and where homicide prosecuted and punished if death occur without the Commonwealth.

If any person be stricken or poisoned in this Commonwealth, and die by reason thereof out of this Commonwealth, the offender shall be as guilty, and shall be prosecuted and punished, as if the death had occurred in the county or corporation in which the stroke or poison was given or administered.

Code 1950, § 18.1-26; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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