Illinois Reckless Homicide Attorney
Skilled Criminal Lawyer Defending Reckless Homicide Charges in Lake County
Reckless homicide, also referred to as vehicular homicide, occurs when a death results from a person driving a motor vehicle in a reckless manner. This means that while you certainly did not intend to kill anyone, your reckless conduct while driving resulted in a violent crime death. You may wonder what the state of Illinois considers to be “reckless.” The term is defined as a conscious disregard of a significant risk that could reasonably result in the death or bodily harm to another person. Reckless behavior is taking an unnecessary risk that most reasonable people would realize could cause harm to another human being.
Reckless homicide is more than negligence, but somewhat less than wanton conduct. While the death was certainly involuntary, the state has the burden of proving the reckless act which caused the death was voluntary. The state must also prove your state of mind in order to convict you of reckless homicide. As an example, if you were drag racing through a school zone just as school let out, the prosecutor may have sufficient evidence to prove a conscious disregard of the risk of death or great bodily harm—because most reasonable people would not drag race through a school zone.
If you have been charged with reckless homicide, it is time to call the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. We will conduct a thorough investigation of your case, going above and beyond to find holes in the state’s case. Matthew R. Gebhardt understands that you may have simply made a bad choice or decision and that the accidental death of another should not be compounded by severe penalties being given to you. Our Lake County criminal defense lawyer spent five years as a Cook County prosecutor therefore has the unique ability to clearly see both sides of your case and have a good idea of what the prosecutor is thinking. Additionally, Matthew has more than a decade of criminal defense experience and will represent you zealously with a goal of preserving your future.
The Elements of Reckless Homicide
The state will have automatically met their burden of proof as far as showing your reckless behavior, if you had a blood alcohol content which was above the legal limit at the time of the accident which resulted in a death. The state is not required to show that the reckless behavior you exhibited was the only cause of the death—or the immediate cause of the death. The state must only show that your reckless behavior was a contributing factor to the reckless homicide. As with any criminal offense, you should certainly exercise your right to remain silent and have an attorney present prior to answering any questions from law enforcement. As the Miranda rights state, anything you say can and will be used against you and police officers are trained to extract information from suspects.
Penalties Associated with a Conviction for Reckless Homicide
Reckless homicide is considered a Class 3 felony; if convicted of the crime in the state of Illinois, you could face a potential state prison term of two to five years. The offense of reckless homicide can also be charged as a Class 2 felony when specific aggravating factors are present. If convicted of a Class 2 felony for reckless homicide, you could face a state prison term of as many as twenty-eight years. It is likely you will also lose your driver’s license and pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees if convicted of reckless homicide.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
When Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt is on your case, he will explore every possible defense strategy which could result in your charges of reckless homicide being reduced, or securing a dismissal or acquittal. Our Northbrook, Illinois criminal defense lawyer will aggressively defend your charges and will be the constant advocate in your corner. For experienced, knowledgeable representation for your reckless homicide charges, contact Matthew R. Gebhardt for a free consultation.