Champaign County Homicide & Murder Lawyer
Any act which results in the death of another person could qualify as homicide or murder. Like other states, Illinois has degrees of murder, with more serious offenses warranting more severe penalties. Since 2011, Illinois has not had the death penalty, so the most serious sentence a defendant can receive is life in prison.
Patel Law is committed to defending people accused of heinous crimes, including homicide and murder. Contact our Champaign County homicide & murder lawyer today for more information about how to defend against these charges.
Homicide & Murder Offenses in Champaign County
You could be charged with any of the following if you cause the death of a person:
- First-degree murder. This is the most serious homicide offense. It occurs when a defendant lacks justification and causes the death of another person either intentionally or knowing they have created a strong probability of death or bodily injury. First-degree murder can also be committed when someone dies during a forcible felony. Penalties include up to life in prison.
- Second-degree murder. A defendant can be charged with second-degree murder if they commit first-degree murder as described above but there are mitigating factors, such as acting under intense passion due to serious provocation or an unreasonable belief that the killing is justified. Punishment is 4-15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
- Intentional homicide of an unborn child. Illinois criminalizes the killing of an unborn child in many of the same circumstances as first-degree murder—with the intent of causing death or great bodily harm to the unborn child or the pregnant woman, or knowledge that you are creating a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to either the unborn child or pregnant woman. The punishment includes 10-60 years or life in prison.
- Involuntary manslaughter. This is the unintentional death of another person without justification. The state can charge a person with involuntary manslaughter when the defendant acts in such a way as to likely cause great bodily harm or death. This is a Class 3 felony with the following penalties: usually 2-5 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
- Reckless homicide. Reckless homicide consists of unintentionally killing another person while driving a motor vehicle. This is a Class 3 felony in most situations, though it can be a Class 2 if done in a school zone where a crossing guard is present or when committed in a construction zone. If a Class 2 felony, a defendant typically faces 3-7 years in prison.
Contact Our Homicide & Murder Attorney for More Information
Murder is the most serious charge a person can face in Illinois. If you have been accused of killing someone, seek out an attorney as soon as possible. Patel Law can ensure the state is held to its burden of proof. We can also listen to your side of events to determine the best possible defense. In addition to self-defense, we might argue mistaken identity or prosecutorial error.
To schedule a consultation with our Champaign homicide and murder lawyer, call or send us an online message.