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Reckless Homicide Charges in Motor Vehicle Accidents

October 28th, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois homicide statutes, Illiois criminal attorney,Accidentally killing another person with a vehicle is a tough thing to live with, and while the defendant never meant to take a life, he or she will likely be prosecuted if there is evidence to suggest that the driver acted negligently in some way, and that the negligence led to the death. Frequently, defendants in these types of situations find themselves facing criminal charges, and based on the facts surround the fatal accident, additional charges can be brought against the defendant as well that carry more severe penalties.

Reckless Homicide, Plus Other Charges

The exact details of the accident can have an impact on what charges can be brought against the defendant. As an initial matter, when a motor vehicle accident results in a fatality, an allegedly negligent driver is usually charged with reckless homicide under 720 ILCS 5/9-3, which is a Class 3 felony that carries a jail sentence of between two and five years. But other negligent actions can add to the charges.

For example, the penalties for a driving under the influence conviction are severe enough on their own, but when a death occurs, prosecutors charge defendants with everything in their arsenal. When a fatal accident results from someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the defendant can be charged with aggravated DUI under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(1)(F) in addition to the reckless homicide.

Where the fatal accident takes place can serve as evidence of negligence, this can result in enhanced penalties and additional charges. For instance:

  • Work zone. Under  720 ILCS 5/9-3(e-7), a fatal accident occurring in a work zone  (i.e., a construction zone or maintenance zone), is a Class 2 felony that carries a jail sentence of three for 14 years. If multiple people are killed as a result of the accident, the sentence minimum and maximum double to six to 28 years under 720 ILCS 5/9-3(e-8).
  • Under Officer’s Orders. Also under 720 ILCS 5/9-3(e-7), if a driver fails to obey a law enforcement officer’s orders and causes a fatal accident, the driver will be charged with a Class 2 felony carrying a jail sentence of three to 14 years.  If multiple people are killed as a result of the accident, the sentence minimum and maximum double to six to 28 years under 720 ILCS 5/9-3(e-8).
  • School zone. Under 720 ILCS 5/9-3(e-2), a fatal accident occurring on a public thoroughfare where either school children or a crossing guard are present is a Class 2 felony, which can carry up to three to 14 years of jail time. If multiple people are killed as a result of the accident, the sentence minimum and maximum double to six to 28 years under 720 ILCS 5/9-3(e-3).

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Simply because you accidentally killed another does not necessarily mean that you or someone you love was negligent. Fight the charges. Please contact an experienced Rolling Meadows aggravated DUI lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K9-3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

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Written by Staff Writer

October 28th, 2015 at 6:43 pm

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