Lake County, IL Manslaughter Defense Lawyer
Defending Against Charges of Manslaughter in Skokie, Mundelein and Park City
If you have been arrested on charges of manslaughter you are likely very worried about the charges and how they will affect your future—and with good reason. You may have been charged with involuntary manslaughter which is the accidental killing of another person, or voluntary manslaughter (which is also known as second-degree murder) which occurs when you take a life, but had no prior intent to kill. Homicides committed in the heat of the moment or in the heat of passion fall under voluntary manslaughter. In the State of Illinois, both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter cases are vigorously prosecuted as violent crimes, and a conviction for either offense carries severe penalties which can include many years of incarceration.
If you have been charged with manslaughter, you need an aggressive advocate in your corner. At the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. we understand that your attorney needs experience and knowledge of Illinois manslaughter laws, and we provide both those and more. Our Northbrook manslaughter defense attorney will thoroughly assess your charges, explain your rights under the law, advise you of your best options and completely answer all the questions and concerns you may have. Attorney Gebhardt also offers unwavering dedication and the zealous defense you deserve in this fight for your freedom and your future.
Defenses to Manslaughter
If you are accused of involuntary manslaughter there are a number of defenses your attorney may employ on your behalf, depending on the circumstances of your case. You may be able to claim self-defense if you can show you used reasonable means to protect yourself or another person from serious harm or death. If the death of another occurred absent of any negligence or recklessness on your part, your attorney may be able to claim accidental death. After sifting through all the evidence the prosecutor has compiled against you, your attorney may be able to show there is insufficient evidence to charge you with involuntary manslaughter. Finally, your attorney may be able to show you were wrongly accused and had an alibi for the time the death occurred.
The potential defenses to voluntary manslaughter could be actual innocence or self-defense, just as in charges of involuntary manslaughter. Additionally, your lawyer may claim you met the legal definition for insanity at the time of the homicide, therefore you should not be held accountable. If your attorney can show the homicide was the result of an accident, the voluntary manslaughter charges could be reduced to involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter must have an element of intent, or the crime cannot be proven. Intoxication is not generally a defense to manslaughter charges unless you were drugged without your knowledge.
Illinois Penalties for a Manslaughter Conviction
An Illinois conviction for involuntary manslaughter can result in two to five years in prison, however there are circumstances in which those penalties can be increased. If the victim is a law enforcement officer, killed during the performance of his or her duties, the sentence can increase to three to seven years. If the victim of the involuntary manslaughter is a family or household member, the penalties are also increased with a potential sentence of three to fourteen years. The penalties for voluntary manslaughter are much more severe and can bring a sentence of four to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help with Your Charges
Because a person died, police officers will be looking for anything, no matter how small, to prove your guilt, however their assessment of the homicide is very subjective. Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt will file motions to exclude evidence when possible, with a goal of providing you the most positive outcome possible. While our Lake County manslaughter defense attorney has compassion for the victim’s family, he understands that in some cases an accident is just that—an accident—and should not result in your future being destroyed as well. Contact Matthew R. Gebhardt for a free consultation by calling 773-383-8745 or 847-239-4703.