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Posted on in Homicide

crashCar accidents happen every day in Illinois. Many of these accidents are very minor and do not result in serious injuries. However, sometimes these crashes result in severe injuries and sometimes, even death. When one person causes the accident and another dies as a result, the driver may be found guilty of a felony. This is true when the driver’s negligent or reckless actions caused the accident and the resulting death. In Illinois, this is known as reckless homicide. Some drivers confuse this offense with reckless driving, but there are significant differences, including the penalties associated with them.

Differences Between Reckless Homicide and Reckless Driving

Reckless homicide and reckless driving both involve a driver acting negligently or recklessly while on the road. This means they show a blatant disregard for the safety of others. However, reckless homicide must involve a death for someone to be convicted of the offense. In fact, the Illinois statute governing reckless homicide also includes involuntary manslaughter.

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Posted on in Homicide

Illinios defense lawyerInvoluntary manslaughter is a classification of homicide, which is the unlawful killing of another person. While first- and second-degree murder involves the intentional killing of a person, involuntary manslaughter can be thought of as an unintentional type of killing. Make no mistake; involuntary manslaughter is a serious crime, and the penalties you may be sentenced with can be harsh.

Penalties for Involuntary Manslaughter

Under Illinois 720 ILCS 5/9-3, involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional and unjustified killing of an individual when the defendant’s acts, either lawful or unlawful, are likely to cause death or serious bodily injury to another. As such, when a person performs dangerous reckless actions that result in the death of another, that person will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, unless they were operating a vehicle. As a Class 3 felony, involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to five years in prison. Examples of actions that could lead to involuntary manslaughter include:

  • Fist fights. A Toledo, Illinois man was recently charged with involuntary manslaughter after kicking his neighbor in the head;
  • Letting a toddler play outside on the street unsupervised;
  • Shooting a firearm or storing a firearm in a reckless manner; and
  • Throwing or dropping rocks from a bridge or overpass.

Reckless Homicide or Vehicular Manslaughter

When the driver of a motor vehicle, all-terrain vehicle, watercraft, or snowmobile causes the death of another due to reckless driving or operation of their vehicle, they will be charged with reckless homicide, more commonly referred to as vehicular manslaughter. Reckless homicide is also a Class 3 felony, and may also involve having your license suspended or revoked. If the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol, even with a blood alcohol content under 0.08, they may still be charged with reckless homicide if they cause the death of another because it is presumed that alcohol played a factor in their impaired driving and decision making.

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gay panic defense, homicide cases, homosexual orientation, Illinois crime, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerWith the new year’s arrival, a slew of new laws are poised to take effect in Illinois and a few old ones are about to be repealed. Fox News reports that one old law that will be removed from the Illinois Compiled Statutes in 2018 is the so called “gay panic defense.”

What Was the Gay Panic Defense?

Agay panic defense is a legal defense that is available in homicide cases (or occasionally in other violent cases) that a defendant can use to justify violent acts against a homosexual victim ifhis or her violence was provoked by unexpectedly learning ofthe victim’s sexual orientation.

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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.

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Posted on in Homicide

criminal hearing, homicide, murder, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, guilty pleaThe Chicago Tribune recently ran an article about a defendant who withdrew his guilty plea in connection with a murder charge. The 22-year-old man, from Aurora, had pled guilty to murdering a woman in October of 2005, when he was just 14 years old.

Appellate Court Decision

The hearing came in light of last year’s appellate court decision, which stated that the defendant’s 2009 guilty plea was invalid, as it provided for a 45-year minimum sentence, and not the 35-year sentence he should have received as the result of entering a plea to first-degree murder. The Illinois Supreme Court declined to hear the case when county prosecutors appealed the appellate court’s decision.

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