It is tragic if you have unintentionally killed another person, but with a DuPage County manslaughter attorney at your side, it doesn’t have to spell catastrophy for the rest of your life. Everyone grieves when an accident or unforeseen circumstances result in a person’s death. Very often, the person who is charged with manslaughter in these cases is also bereft and remorseful for the event that occurred.
It can be scary and intimidating to face arrest and court proceedings on a manslaughter charge. It can feel like a mixture of confusion, regret, sadness and concern for your own future. You don’t have to face this alone.
An experienced DuPage County manslaughter lawyer knows what you’re going through and can walk beside you through this difficult experience. The skilled attorneys at Wolfe & Stec have defended many of these cases and can do the same for you. For a free initial consultation about your case, call us at (630) 305-0222.
Manslaughter charges are serious and, if there is a conviction, can carry significant prison sentences and hefty fines. You don’t want to risk a mediocre defense and leave your future to fate. It is important that you hire an aggressive manslaughter attorney who will craft a powerful defense on your behalf. It is unwise to rely on the public defenders office, because these lawyers are often overworked and don’t have much time to spend with every client. Your best chance for acquittal or a reduced sentence often increases when you hire your own experienced lawyer.
Make this choice very carefully. Your freedom hangs in the balance. Take time to visit a law firm’s website and read the attorneys’ bios. Are the attorneys experienced and authoritative? Do they have a record of success? Read client reviews and find out what other clients have to say about their experience with the law firm. At Wolfe & Stec, our DuPage County manslaughter attorneys are some of the best in the business. We pride ourselves on giving each client our full attention by listening to their version of events. We know that being arrested does not mean guilt, and sometimes mistakes are made by police.
First, your attorney will meet with you to review the charges you face, answer any questions you may have, and explain the law and how it works. Next, he will scour police reports and eyewitness accounts, review the evidence, and take detailed notes on your version of events. He will then craft a powerful defense that challenges the prosecutor’s claims by questioning the evidence, exploring whether there may have been misconduct by police, or a number of other strategies that create doubt in the minds of a judge or jury.
Illinois classifies crimes that result in death without lawful justification as either murder or manslaughter. As a rule, murder involves an intentional killing, while manslaughter does not. Manslaughter is usually classified as involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide, and it can involve the voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child.
To be considered involuntary manslaughter, the person must have “recklessly” performed the act(s) causing an individual’s death. “Recklessly” is defined as when the person “consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow.” This disregard must be shown to be “a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.”
If you have been charged with manslaughter, the prosecutor will vigorously attempt to prove that the action involved was likely to result in death or serious bodily harm and that, even if you had no intent to kill, you recklessly engaged in these acts with disregard to the potential for serious bodily harm or death. Manslaughter cases are serious because merely being charged with this crime can have consequences that will follow you forever, ruining your reputation and negatively impacting your relationships, career, education, housing and benefits.
If you are facing such allegations, you need the best defense available. Prosecutors will be fighting to impose the steepest punishment. The seasoned Illinois criminal defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. have extensive experience in all areas of homicide and know that there are aspects of a manslaughter charge that may lead to a dismissal or result in a lesser offense or penalty. We offer a free consultation to examine the issues in your case and determine what we can do to help fight for your rights and freedom. Call us at (630) 305-0222 to get your defense started now.
Illinois law stipulates specific elements of the crime that must be proved to get a manslaughter conviction. For a prosecutor to get a conviction, he or she must prove:
Reckless homicide, also called vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter, is a related charge involving unintentionally causing the death of another person while operating a vehicle, including motor vehicles, snowmobiles, boats, or all-terrain vehicles. It is also considered reckless homicide if death occurred by causing a vehicle to go airborne.
A skilled DuPage County manslaughter attorney will be well-versed in effective defenses that can result in acquittal or a reduced criminal charge. There are several potential defenses to manslaughter charges, including:
A skilled attorney will know how to leverage these defenses to your benefit and create doubt in the minds of a judge or jury when they consider the prosecutor’s arguments. By advocating forcefully and effectively, a DuPage County manslaughter attorney can establish a different version of events and causes. If you have questions about a potential defense for you, call us at Wolfe & Stec at (630) 305-0222 for a free initial conversation about your case.
Every case is different, and the hours involved in pursuing a defense depend on the complexity of a case. Generally, simpler, straightforward cases cost less to defend than do complex cases requiring multiple depositions and extensive legal research and court filings. Based on the factors of your case, a manslaughter attorney can give you an explanation of the potential cost of your defense.
When a person has died, penalties usually involve some jail or prison time due to the severe consequence of the reckless or dangerous acts.
Involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide are considered a Class 3 felony. Punishments may be 2-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Under some circumstances, the charge can become a Class 2 felony.
Reckless Homicide is a Class 2 felony, with punishments of 3-7 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines; or periodic imprisonment of 18-30 months; probation; or conditional discharge of up to 4 years, a fine of up to $25,000 or restitution.
This range of sentences allows a judge to have discretion in determining punishment based on any aggravating or mitigating factors. Mitigating factors, such as accepting responsibility for what happened, may decrease punishment. Aggravating factors, such as past history or reckless behavior, can increase the severity of punishment.
Elements That Can Increase Penalties
Penalties may also be increased for factors that include:
In addition, you may have to pay restitution to the victim’s family, participate in community service and attend counseling.
At Wolfe & Stec, we will work hard to disprove any elements that could result in increased penalties. Our years of experience in the courtroom help in defending against these charges.
If you or a loved one is charged with manslaughter, you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney you can find. Your case may seem impossible, but with skillful representation you have a chance. Remember, the law places a heavy burden on the prosecutor, and you have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The manslaughter defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. Whether your criminal law case is seemingly straightforward or highly complicated, we can help. We know the judges and the court system and will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense. We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available, and work hand in hand with our clients throughout the criminal process. We explain all elements and processes of the case and come up with an effective defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.
Don’t delay — contact us for help today at 630-305-0222 if you have been accused of manslaughter. Our Illinois manslaughter lawyers represent clients in DuPage County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Bolingbrook, Illinois, and the greater Chicagoland area. We offer free initial consultations.
After the police broke into our client’s house, we successfully suppressed the evidence and the case was subsequently dismissed.
We have tried many aggravated battery and domestic batter cases. Our most recent success was our client was charged with attacking and stabbing the victim in their home. After conducting extensive discovery, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing all the factors contained in the case, we were able to get the cause dismissed.
We handle numerous first and repeat DUIs and have excellent success in acquittals or reductions of charges with minimum impact for our clients. As members of the NACDL, we have numerous expert witnesses available to rebut the vast resources of the prosecution and receive favorable rulings.