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Rolling Meadows Homicide Defense Lawyer

Rolling Meadows Homicide and Murder Defense Lawyer

Manslaughter and Murder Defense Attorney Serving Chicago, Oakbrook Terrace, and Rolling Meadows

If you have been involved in the killing of another person, you are not necessarily guilty of first degree murder. Depending on the circumstances, it may have been justified self-defense (not a crime at all), or a lesser offense such as involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, or second degree murder.

If you are charged with the most serious offense of first degree homicide, it may seem like the end of your life as you know it. Do not lose heart. A thorough investigation by your defense team may uncover police errors or mitigating evidence that will enable your attorney to argue for a reduction in the charge or leniency in sentencing.

At Hartsfield Law, we strongly believe in the principle of "Innocent until proven guilty." We stand by our clients every step of the way to vigorously defend their rights under the law. Key to our success is our:

  • Knowledge and experience in Illinois criminal law.
  • Thorough investigation and mastery of the facts of your case.
  • Prowess in conducting effective pretrial negotiations with the State.
  • Ability to present compelling arguments in front of a judge and jury.

Understanding Illinois Murder Charges and Penalties

For the state to convict someone of first degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1), it must prove that the accused, without lawful justification, performed an action that caused a death and committed that action:

  1. With the intention to kill or do great bodily harm;
  2. Knowing that such acts create a strong probability of death or great bodily harm; or
  3. While committing a forcible felony.

A charge of first degree murder supported by either point 1 or 2 above may be reduced to second degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-2) if the accused acted in sudden, passionate response to serious provocation or if the accused believed in the moment that they were acting lawfully, but their belief was incorrect. An example of the latter circumstance would be when an individual defends himself with deadly force, believing at the time that deadly force was justified, when in fact the law only allows the use of deadly force in response to an attack of deadly force. Second degree murder is a Class 1 felony.

Involuntary manslaughter (720 ILCS 5/9-3) occurs when the killing of another person occurs unintentionally but as the result of a reckless action, such as the reckless use of a firearm. If the reckless action involves a motor vehicle (including snowmobiles, ATVs, and watercraft), the crime is termed reckless homicide. In either case, this is a Class 3 felony, but it can be elevated to a Class 2 felony when there are aggravating conditions (e.g., killing someone in a school crossing zone or road construction zone).

While first degree murder carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 20 years, the other listed offenses can be eligible for probation, conditional discharge, or periodic imprisonment.

Hire an Experienced Homicide Attorney to Defend Your Rights

When someone has been killed, the police are under pressure to arrest a suspect and build a prosecutable case quickly. If you are charged in a killing, you need to act just as quickly to start building your defense. You need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows defense lawyer. Hartsfield Law has the depth of experience you need to achieve the best possible outcome. For a free initial consultation, call 312-345-1700. We serve clients throughout the Chicago area, with an emphasis on Cook County and DuPage County from our offices in Oakbrook Terrace, Rolling Meadows, and Chicago.

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