The offense of murder, in any form, is one of the most serious offenses known to our society and criminal system. If you or a loved one were arrested or charged in Chicago for murder, the consequences could be severe.
Murder cases are multi-faceted, involving medical information and material, extensive police investigations, and numerous legal theories and witnesses.
Timing is everything when you are charged with the offense of murder. Even the slightest of delays can impact your future. For these reasons, consider hiring a criminal defense attorney immediately. Without their assistance, a conviction could result in a lengthy prison sentence.
The last thing you want is a criminal record which may affect your employment and reputation. At the Hirsch Law Group, we protect our client’s rights and help them prepare a suitable defense strategy.
Murder charges may differ depending on the facts of each case. These categories have been discussed below:
As per 720 ILCS 5/9-1, first-degree murder is said to be committed if:
a) a person kills someone without lawful justification, and
b) the person committed any of the following acts while carrying out the activities that resulted in death:
They intended to kill or cause great bodily harm or knew their actions would cause death.
They knew their actions created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm.
Their death occurs during the commission of a forcible felony other than second-degree murder.
In Illinois, the minimum sentence for the criminal offense of first-degree murder is twenty years in prison, whereas the maximum penalty is a sixty-year prison sentence.
A conviction may, however, lead to a stricter sentence if aggravating factors, such as the ones listed below, are present.
The victim was:
aged sixty years or older or under twelve years of age, and the death was a result of brutal behavior
a person with a disability
a peace officer or fireman
an employee of the Department of Corrections
The defendant has been convicted for two or more prior murder convictions
The victim died as a result of the hijacking of a public conveyance vehicle
The murder took place in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner
The murder was intentional and involved torture
The prosecution has the burden of proof to establish one of the above factors beyond all reasonable doubt. If you face first-degree murder charges, a murder charge defense lawyer from the Hirsch Law Group can help.
According to Illinois law 720 ILCS 5/9-2, second-degree murder is said to be committed when you commit a murder:
Under sudden and intense passion caused by serious provocation from the victim at the time of the murder, or
With an unreasonable belief that you were acting in self-defense and believed that circumstances existed to exonerate the killing
Provocation must be serious and able to incite intense passion in a reasonable person. Also, applying unreasonable force during self-defense may result in second-degree murder.
Although the penalties for second-degree murder are not as severe as first-degree murder, they still result in serious consequences. Second-degree murder is a Class 1 felony carrying a penalty between four to fifteen years in prison.
An attempt to commit murder is said to have occurred when someone takes action and-
Such an action was undertaken with the intention of committing murder
Such an action represents a substantial step toward committing murder
An attempt to commit first-degree murder is a Class X felony. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident (including aggravating factors), you could even face a prison sentence for life.
Involuntary manslaughter occurs when, through your reckless actions, you unintentionally kill someone without lawful justification.
It is reckless homicide if the manslaughter took place while driving a vehicle. Both offenses are classified as Class 3 felonies under Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/9-3), punishable by two to five years imprisonment.
Reckless homicide is categorized as a Class 2 felony if it involves the death of a police officer or takes place in a school zone. It is punishable by three to fourteen years of prison time.
An experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer can help protect your rights and freedoms in such cases. They can represent you against criminal prosecution and even attempt a not-guilty verdict.
Several defenses are available when fighting a murder charge. At the Hirsch Law Group, we are skilled in defending our clients. Depending on your case, we may apply any of the following defenses:
Self-Defense: One of the most common defenses used when fighting murder charges is self-defense. The use of deadly force is justified if there is a reasonable belief that it would prevent your or someone else’s death or grave bodily harm. You must, however, provide evidence showing that the deceased was the aggressor.
Intoxication: Another defense that may be available to criminal defendants is the defense of intoxication. You must show that you were so intoxicated that you could not understand the gravity of your offense. However, the availability of this defense depends on whether the intoxication was voluntary or involuntary.
Insanity: If you were mentally ill at the time of committing the offense, you may plead insanity. In such cases, you may be entitled to a non-guilty verdict or receive a lesser sentence.
Felony convictions can have serious repercussions. When charged with murder, your freedom and reputation are on the line. This is why hiring a murder lawyer is important. Your situation is critical, and you cannot afford to compromise on quality legal representation.
A Chicago murder defense lawyer can provide the following legal services:
Collect and examine evidence
File a motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence
Formulate a solid defense strategy
Help navigate the criminal law system
Investigate your charges and the facts surrounding your case
Interview any witnesses that were present at the time of the incident
Look for inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case
Negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution on your behalf
Provide you with quality legal representation at your trial
Provide you with legal counsel and support
Facing an investigation for murder can be overwhelming. The attorney you choose to protect your rights is essential to safeguard your future. The consequences of a murder conviction can be devastating. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to choose a criminal defense attorney familiar with the Illinois criminal justice system.
At the Hirsch Law Group, our team of lawyers has experience as former prosecutors. We understand how the courts approach murder cases and can analyze your case from the prosecution’s view. With our experience in litigation, we can also:
Thoroughly analyze your case
Employ a team of expert witnesses to testify on your behalf
Fight to increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
For more information about murder or other crimes, contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation!