Charged With Homicide? Call A Top Illinois Murder Lawyer Now!

Murder charges are serious. If you or a loved one has been charged with murder or a similar violent crime, you need serious legal help from a firm with a winning track record. To work with the best homicide attorneys in Chicago, call 708.606.4386. Payment plans are available.

Illinois Murder and Homicide Attorneys

If you’ve been accused of killing someone in Illinois, you could face a felony charge for murder, homicide or manslaughter. Each of these charges comes in different degrees of seriousness, but they can all put you in prison for years. 

However, a homicide charge is not the same thing as a conviction. If you fight the charge with the right legal help, you can avoid a conviction. And that means you can avoid prison.

Whether you’ve been charged with murder or manslaughter, a trusted Illinois homicide attorney at Edward Johnson and Associates P.C. can help you understand your charge, the possible penalties and your legal options for beating your charge. In other words, we can help you get your life back.

Understanding Your Murder Charge

Getting a felony charge for a violent crime is a shock to the system. It can be hard to even continue living your daily life as you face this charge. And taking the time to fully understand your murder or manslaughter charge can feel absolutely impossible. 

Understanding Illinois murder charges and how yours could affect your future is key to your ability to fight back. Why? Because you need to know more than the simple fact that a murder charge suggests that you killed someone on purpose while a manslaughter charge suggests an accident. You need to know the different penalties for first- and second-degree murder. You even need to understand that you can be charged with felony murder in Illinois even if you didn’t actually kill anyone.

This is where homicide lawyers can be incredibly helpful. We know the ins and outs of each of these charges, as well as the best defenses for murder charges. Below, we take a deeper look at the types of murder charges in Illinois.

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First-Degree Murder

First-degree murder is the most serious type of murder charge you can get. That means its punishments are the most severe, too. 

Put simply, if you are accused of planning to kill and actually killing someone, you can be charged with first-degree murder. However, that is not the only situation in which you can get a first-degree murder charge. 

Regardless of whether you intended to kill someone, if someone dies while you are allegedly committing or attempting to commit any of the following crimes, you can still be charged with first-degree murder:

  • Sexual assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Home invasion
  • Sexual abuse of a child
  • Child abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Terrorism
  • Intending to create a high risk of death or injury to people in a school

Prison time for a first-degree murder conviction can vary widely, depending on the circumstances of your case, but will fall in the following range:

  • Minimum: 20 years in prison
  • Maximum: Life in prison

Here is the good news: A top Chicago murder attorney can help you fight your charge. A strong defense can lead to dismissed or reduced charges, favorable plea agreements or lighter sentences.

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Second-Degree Murder

In Illinois, the charge of second-degree murder is a catch-all — all murders that aren’t listed under first-degree murder are likely to be charged as second-degree murder. Legally speaking, here is the definition of second-degree murder in Illinois:

The act of intentionally killing without planning to do so in advance; or actions taken that could easily be predicted to cause death, whether or not the action is intentional.

Let’s look at an example to understand what second-degree murder looks like in the real world. Say someone keeps a gun under his desk at work, and one day, he becomes extremely angry, takes the gun out and shoots someone. A prosecutor might say the man intended to kill the person he shot, but they can’t really say that he planned to kill the person in advance. That makes this example second-degree murder.

The following are some more examples of situations that could lead to second-degree murder charges:

  • Participating in a fatal game of Russian roulette
  • Firing a weapon into a crowd
  • Any other act that was meant to cause severe injury but killed someone

If you are convicted of second-degree murder in Illinois, you could face the following penalties:

Even though the penalties for second-degree murder can be less severe, it is still a felony. That means you could shave a mark on your criminal record for decades even if you are lucky enough to avoid a long prison sentence. Your best shot at getting your life back is avoiding a conviction altogether. We can help.

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Felony Murder

Did you know you can be charged with murder in Illinois even if you didn’t kill anyone? It is possible. In fact, it happens all the time. It’s called felony murder.

A felony murder charge can point to a death that happened while you were allegedly committing another felony. You don’t have to have been directly responsible for the death at all, and whether or not you intended for someone to die is largely irrelevant. 

Confused? Most people who are charged with felony murder are. But your Chicago defense lawyer can help you understand your unique charge. In the meantime, here are a couple of examples of events that could lead to a felony murder charge:

  • A group is robbing a house, and one person panics and shoots and kills the homeowner. Everyone who participated in the robbery could face a felony murder charge.
  • While you were robbing a bank, you pointed your gun at an older bank teller. The teller had a fatal heart attack as a result of the scare. Because the heart attack was tied to the felony bank robbery, you could be charged with felony murder.
  • You were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and you accidentally hit and killed someone. If the DUI act was considered a felony, you could face a felony murder charge for the unintentional death that resulted.

Facing a felony murder charge in Illinois? If you are convicted, you could spend serious time in prison:

  • Minimum: 20 to 60 years in prison
  • Maximum: life in prison

It’s hard to imagine going to prison for murder when you didn’t kill anyone, but it happens. Fortunately, an experienced homicide attorney at our firm can help you craft a bulletproof defense that shows why you don’t deserve prison time for a murder that wasn’t your fault.

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Manslaughter

Manslaughter charges usually involve an accidental death. In Illinois, there are two types of manslaughter charges: involuntary manslaughter and voluntary manslaughter.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter means you allegedly acted recklessly or without regard for the safety of others. This charge is a Class 3 felony in Illinois. It is punishable by the following:

  • Minimum: Probation and/or periodic prison time
  • Maximum: Five years in prison

The prosecutor may act like you’re a monster, but a top Illinois manslaughter defense law firm can show the court that what you did was an accident that doesn’t warrant time behind bars.

Voluntary Manslaughter

A voluntary manslaughter charge suggests that you were somehow provoked — through desperation or rage — to kill someone. The circumstances allegedly drove you to extreme acts that took someone’s life, but you did not have an original intent to kill. 

However, Illinois treats voluntary manslaughter a little differently than many other states. In our state, voluntary manslaughter only applies to the killing of an unborn child. This crime is charged as a Class 1 felony punishable by the following:

  • Minimum: Four years in prison
  • Maximum: 15 years in prison

There is almost always more to the story. You deserve to be heard. A top-ranked defense attorney can help you tell your story to fight your manslaughter charge.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Illinois Murder Lawyer

Financial concerns shouldn’t keep you from hiring the best Illinois murder lawyer for your case. To help, we offer free consultations and flexible payment plans.

To defend a murder case, a lawyer needs diligence and expertise. Attorneys Edward Johnson and John Miraglia are criminal defense law veterans who can provide a tag-team approach to your murder case. We review all the evidence the state has against you, file motions to exclude evidence and fight for fair jury selection to help secure a not-guilty verdict. 

These are just a few of the tactics we use to defend you. With Edward Johnson and Associates P.C., you will have a team of lawyers working diligently in your corner.

Contact the expert attorneys at Edward Johnson & Associates P.C. today. Call 708-606-4386, contact us online or email us at info@edwardjohnsonlaw.com.

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Edward Johnson and Associates P.C.
1945 S Halsted Street
Suite 309
Chicago, IL 60608

Email: info@edwardjohnsonlaw.com
Phone: 708-606-4386