What Is Vehicular Manslaughter in Illinois?


Vehicular manslaughter occurs when a person is operating a motor vehicle and causes the death of another person. This includes cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, or if a death occurs by causing a vehicle to become airborne.

Most people who face vehicular manslaughter charges that resulted in the death of someone did not intend to kill or harm anyone. It was an accident.

At Hirsch Law Group, we understand that but also know that anyone facing vehicular manslaughter charges will need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney representing them because they could be facing serious jail time and hefty fines and become a convicted felon for the rest of their life.

That could result in the loss of freedom, limited housing options, and the loss of employment. You could also be responsible for restitution, losing your driver’s license, and community service. None of this is fun or easy for anyone.

Timing is everything when you are charged with the offense of vehicular manslaughter. You will need a lawyer immediately.

Do not waste a moment. Even if you have not yet been formally charged, Contact the HIRSCH LAW GROUP.


Vehicular Reckless Homicide Conviction


If a death occurred due to someone acting in a reckless manner that resulted in the death of someone else, it could be considered reckless homicide. The prosecution will have to prove that the defendant acted unjustifiably recklessly, which most people would consider likely to result in harm.

This is considered a class 3 felony. However, that can be bumped up to a class 2 felony if the accident involved the death of an unborn child or family member or if the accident occurred in a construction zone or school or involved a peace officer. If the accident resulted in two or more deaths, then charges could also be escalated to a class 2 felony. If the driver was intoxicated with alcohol at the time of the accident, then it could also be bumped up to a class 2 felony.

Reckless homicide charges are very serious under Illinois law, and you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your rightsHirsch Law Group is experienced in defending people facing reckless homicide charges in Chicago and 13 counties in Illinois.


Vehicular Manslaughter Sentences and Reckless Homicide Sentences


  • Class 3 felony – 2-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000

  • Class 2 felony – 3-7 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 plus restitution

  • In cases where a death occurs, judges tend to be reluctant to give the defendant probation.


Legal Defenses for Vehicular Manslaughter Charges


There are various strategies that an experienced attorney may deploy to defend against vehicular manslaughter charges. These defenses include:


Lack of Evidence

The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was operating the vehicle and that their actions led directly to the death. If they cannot provide sufficient evidence to substantiate their claims, the charges may not stand. An experienced attorney can review the evidence and challenge its validity in court.


Lack of Intention or Knowledge

As mentioned earlier, most vehicular manslaughter cases involve unintentional harm or death. If a defense attorney can prove that the accused had no intention to cause harm, it could help reduce charges or result in an acquittal.



In some cases, the accident may have occurred due to a sudden emergency or circumstances beyond the driver’s control. An experienced attorney can argue that the driver acted in self-defense and did not intend to harm anyone.


Error in Police Procedure

If the law enforcement officer did not follow proper procedures during the investigation or arrest, it could compromise the evidence against the accused. An experienced attorney can challenge any errors in police procedure and potentially have evidence dismissed.


Involuntary Intoxication

If the defendant was unknowingly under the influence of a substance, such as through spiked drinks, they could potentially argue involuntary intoxication. This could reduce or dismiss charges depending on the circumstances.


Experienced Award-Winning Attorneys – Multiple Former Prosecutors on our Team


Vehicular homicide or reckless homicide are serious murder charges, and Hirsch Law Group has experience defending them. We have gotten charges reduced, plea deals and have proven that these are accidents and not intentional. We have many defense strategies for people facing these types of murder charges.

Our experienced attorneys will thoroughly scrutinize every piece of evidence, cross-exam witnesses, and call in expert witnesses to defend each client aggressively. If your case goes to trial, HIRSCH LAW GROUP will provide a quality criminal legal defense by experienced attorneys.

We Make Juries Think Before Convicting Anyone of Vehicular Manslaughter or Reckless Homicide