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Homicide Charges in Illinois

Posted in Criminal Defense, Homicide on Monday, June 14th, 2021

Most people recognize that homicide is the most serious category of criminal offenses, as these offenses involve the loss of human life. However, homicide charges are more than what most people consider to be “murder,” and navigating a homicide case can be a complicated matter. If you are facing any type of homicide charge in Illinois, it is absolutely critical that you have the right defense assistance. Speak with an Illinois homicide defense attorney as soon as you possibly can. 

Below are some different homicide charges that people face in Illinois criminal court. 

First-Degree Murder

This is the most serious homicide charge and the most serious criminal charge you can face in general. First-degree murder charges apply when someone is accused of acting knowingly and purposefully when they committed an intentional killing. Many people refer to premeditation when they discuss first-degree murder, but this type of offense does not necessarily need to be planned in advance. A person can be in the midst of conduct and knowingly choose to continue the conduct with the awareness it is likely to cause fatal harm. 

Another situation in which first-degree murder charges might arise is called “felony murder.” If you are accused of committing a felony offense and a death resulted in the process, you can face murder charges. For example, if someone died in the course of an armed robbery or you hit someone with a getaway car after another felony offense, you could face this very serious charge. 

Second-Degree Murder

This is still a murder charge, but it is a lesser offense to first-degree murder. The prosecutor still must prove that you intended to engage in fatally harmful conduct and that you acted knowingly and purposefully. However, instead of proving premeditation, the prosecutor is alleging that your conduct was the result of extreme provocation that affected your state of mind to a murderous degree. 

This is often referred to as “heat of passion” murder, and a classic example is a case involving a spouse who walked in on adultery, which threw them into a rage. Another case might involve a parent who lashes out and kills someone after they hurt their child in some way. 

Involuntary Manslaughter or Reckless Homicide

These charges are less serious than murder, though they still qualify as homicide offenses. You might face one of these charges if:

  • Involuntary manslaughter – You were reckless in a manner that your conduct was likely to cause serious bodily harm or death to another person. 
  • Reckless homicide – You engage in conduct that leads to involuntary manslaughter, but you were driving a motor vehicle at the time. 

A common example is a drunk driver who hits and kills another person. In this situation, reckless homicide charges would likely be filed.

Consult with an Experienced Illinois Homicide Defense Attorney Immediately

At the Sabuco Beck, PC, we know that facing any type of homicide charge is frightening, as you face a potentially long imprisonment sentence. Our Illinois criminal defense lawyers defend against serious charges, including homicide. Contact us right away if you have been arrested. 

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