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Lake County Murder Defense Lawyer


Experienced Criminal Law Attorney Handling Violent Crimes in Waukegan, Gurnee, and Deerfield

As the most serious types of criminal cases—due to the magnitude of harm and the severity of the penalties—Illinois murder charges will almost certainly have a powerful impact on your life. A conviction for a murder charge under almost any circumstances will bring a mandatory minimum of 20 years’ prison time. If it can be proven that you used a firearm during the commission of the murder, the number could increase to 45 years. When special circumstances exist, the penalties could be life in prison.

If you are being investigated for the violent crime of murder, or have already been charged with murder, you are likely overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. Perhaps you made a regrettable mistake or perhaps you have been falsely accused. Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt fully understands the devastating consequences of a murder conviction and is committed to providing a vigorous defense, absent judgment, on your behalf. Our Lake County murder defense attorney will use every investigative tool and resource at his disposal to protect you from the significant power of the state or federal government. Murder cases are incredibly complex and involve special skills and knowledge. Attorney Gebhardt has those skills and will use them to achieve the best possible outcome for your future.

Lake County First Degree Murder Charges

First degree murder is the unjustified killing of another person when one or more of the following is true:

  • You intended to cause a death or great bodily harm;
  • You knew the act you committed would inflict great bodily harm or death;
  • The death occurred during the commission of a felony;
  • You killed the person with malice;
  • You killed the person without lawful justification; or
  • You planned and deliberated the murder.

Contrary to what most people believe, motive is not an element of the crime of murder. The state must prove the murder was an intentional act, but do not have to offer a motive to secure a conviction. First degree murder charges also differ from second degree murder charges in that there is no consideration of “good behavior” so if convicted, you will serve every day of your sentence.

Penalties Associated with a Murder Conviction

Illinois is no longer a death penalty state, therefore a life sentence is the maximum punishment in the state. Aggravating circumstances will factor into the sentencing; some aggravating factors include the victim’s age, torture being involved, or a victim who is a corrections officer. Mitigating factors on your side could include insanity, mental illness, intoxication at the time of the crime, or not being personally present during the act which caused the victim’s death.

What You Need if Accused of an Illinois Murder

If you have been charged with murder in the state of Illinois, you need a highly skilled attorney who will carefully examine the forensic evidence, police investigatory procedures, eyewitness statements and all other relevant facts. You need an attorney who will build a strong viable defense on your behalf and conduct an analysis of all the potential defense strategies. Your attorney may challenge DNA evidence, present alternate crime theories, or point out flaws in the forensics or the state’s case. Your attorney will be a strong advocate in your corner when you need it the most.

How a Criminal Attorney Will Fight You

Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt will seek to obtain a dismissal of your murder charges whenever feasible. At the same time, our Mundelein murder defense attorney will explore any potential settlement options which could reduce your charges of first degree murder to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Attorney Gebhardt fully understands just how high the stakes are—your freedom and your future are on the line and in his hands, and he never takes that responsibility lightly. With over 20 years’ experience—five of those as a Cook County prosecutor—Matthew R. Gebhardt will fight aggressively on your behalf. Contact the The Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. by calling 773-383-8745 or 847-239-4703 today for a free consultation.

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