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Can Murder Charges Be Reduced to Manslaughter?

 Posted on February 22, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “violence only begets more violence. It is a never-ending cycle.” While true, some people do take the life of another person for countless reasons.

While killing another person is considered the most atrocious offense one person could commit, the law does not see all killings the same. The law classifies homicides based on the offender’s state of mind during the commission of the act. Illinois law is no different.

If you are facing homicide charges, you need a Chicago criminal defense lawyer to defend these heinous charges levied against you.

Murder versus Manslaughter

Illinois law does make a distinction between first-degree and second-degree murder. In first-degree murder, the defendant must have an intent to kill. First-degree murder requires either planning (premeditation) or an intent to cause great bodily harm.

If there are certain mitigating factors, the charge may be reduced from first-degree to second-degree murder. Second-degree murder may entail a killing in the heat of the moment, like if the defendant intended to kill another person but killed the victim instead.

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Drug Trafficking Charges in Illinois

 Posted on February 11, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Blog ImageUnder the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, drug trafficking occurs when anyone knowingly brings or helps to bring a controlled substance into the state with the intent to manufacture or deliver the drug.

In a recent year, the Prairie State was home to 406 drug arrests per 100,000 people. Due to the danger drug trafficking poses to public safety, these charges are often more severe than simple possession charges.

An experienced Chicago drug trafficking lawyer can give you an overview of drug trafficking and the types of penalties you may be up against if you are convicted.

What are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?

In Illinois, drug trafficking is commonly charged as a felony, ranging from a Class 3 to a Class X felony, with certain drug trafficking being considered a misdemeanor offense.

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Aggravating Factors in Battery Cases

 Posted on January 27, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerIllinois law defines battery as any unwanted physical contact that is provoking or insulting or causes another person bodily harm. Battery is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a potential sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $2,500.

However, there are circumstances in which a battery charge can become an aggravated battery charge. Certain factors can enhance the charge, resulting in steeper fines and additional jail time. These factors can make the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge.

If you have been arrested or charged with battery, do not hesitate to contact a Chicago assault lawyer

Aggravated Battery in Illinois

720 ILCS 5/12-3.05 states that aggravated battery is based upon bodily injury to others. The statute states that any of the following circumstances may lead to an aggravated battery charge:

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Collateral Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction

 Posted on January 11, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerIf you have been convicted of a sex crime, you may be facing jail time, probation, and hefty fines. However, after you are released, you will be required to register on the sex offender registry.

The registry is available to the public, and the collateral consequences can affect your ability to live a normal life. If you have been accused of a sex crime, it is critical that you hire a Chicago sex crimes attorney to protect your good name.

You Might Be Listed on the Sex Offender Registry

If you have been convicted of a sex crime in Illinois, you will likely need to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 10 years. For most sex offenders, you will need to re-register annually. If you are deemed a sexual predator, you will need to re-register every 90 days.

The national sex offender registry lists the sex offenders in all 50 states. Each entry includes the sex offender’s full name, photograph, aliases, current age, past and present places of residence, and past and present places of employment. Within one click, your reputation can be forever ruined.

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Challenging Eyewitness Testimony in Homicide Cases

 Posted on December 23, 2023 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerEyewitness testimony can sway a jury from a not-guilty to a guilty verdict, or vice versa. This testimony is often more widely available and can be used on its own to convict a defendant in a criminal trial. 

While an eyewitness may testify to seeing certain events unfold, many eyewitnesses are mistaken. An estimated 77,000 suspects are arrested each year on eyewitness testimony. However, studies show that mistaken eyewitness testimony can be attributed to more than 50% of all wrongful convictions.

If you have been charged with a crime, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney who can help assess the reliability of eyewitness testimony in your case.

Factors that Affect Eyewitness Testimony

There are several factors that will affect the credibility of eyewitness testimony:

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Manslaughter vs. Murder Charges

 Posted on November 29, 2023 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerA person’s intent behind a killing can make the difference between life in prison and a shorter sentence. While first-degree murder carries a prison sentence of twenty years to life in prison, manslaughter normally will require the offender to spend less than 15 years in jail.

Below, we provide an overview of manslaughter and murder charges and how intent can determine the severity of your punishment. If you are facing charges, speak with our Chicago criminal defense lawyer directly.

First-Degree Murder

In Illinois, first-degree murder requires the prosecutor to prove one of the following three elements at trial:

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Presenting Self-Defense Against Homicide Charges

 Posted on November 16, 2023 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerEvery state has different laws regarding self-defense. Illinois allows the use of self-defense if you are trying to protect yourself against someone illegally entering your property or if you are being attacked.

While the use of self-defense may be justified, it can lead to killing another person. If you used self-defense and are now facing homicide charges, you need to speak with a Chicago homicide defense attorney today.

Is Self-Defense Permitted in Illinois?

According to Illinois law 720 ILCS 5/7-1, a person is allowed to use self-defense “to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.” 

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Possible Penalties for Class 1 Felony Convictions in Illinois

 Posted on October 26, 2023 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerThe Prairie State is no stranger to crime. In the past three decades, there have been 1.5 million offenders charged with a felony in Illinois. 

Illinois classifies felonies based on severity, ranging from a Class 4 felony (least serious) to a Class X felony (most serious).

If you have been charged with a Class 1 felony in Illinois, never wait to seek help from a Chicago criminal defense lawyer

Class 1 Felony Crimes in Illinois

A Class 1 felony is the second most serious type of felony in Illinois. The most common type of class 1 felonies in Illinois are:

What are the Most Serious Sex Crimes in Illinois?

 Posted on October 13, 2023 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerAs of February 2023, over 786,000 people were listed as offenders on state sex offender registries. Some of these offenders could likely have received lesser sentences if they had hired an accomplished attorney to represent their interests in court.

If you have been charged with a sex crime in Illinois, you need dedicated representation from an aggressive Chicago criminal defense attorney.

What is Classified as a Sex Crime? 

A sex crime involves any unlawful act that has a sexual element. Many crimes involve sexual violence, which refers to unwanted or coerced sexual behavior. Sex crimes may or may not involve actual penetration.

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Can Your Criminal Charges Be Reduced or Dismissed?

 Posted on September 25, 2023 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerBeing arrested on criminal charges in Illinois can have severe legal, financial, social, and emotional costs. If you are accused of a crime in the Chicago area or if you have learned or suspect a pending investigation involving you, it is critical to a well-versed Chicago criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Such an attorney is prepared to advocate fervently on your behalf while bringing resources, skill, and knowledge to your criminal defense strategy.

Can Your Charges be Dismissed or Reduced?

In some cases, criminal charges can be reduced or even dismissed. When a seasoned Chicago criminal defense lawyer represents you, you will have the best chance at having one of these options be a part of the outcome of your charges. 

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