Defending Clients in Cook County, the South Suburbs & Maywood
Murder is one of the most serious criminal charges anyone can face. The alleged taking of another life is aggressively investigated by law enforcement agencies and prosecutors will work forcefully to obtain a conviction in the name of public safety and justice. Unfortunately, Chicago has a reputation for the increasing number of shootings and murders it sees on a yearly basis throughout the area. These incidents can result in those accused of murder facing grim consequences, many for the rest of their lives.
Not all accusations of murder or their investigations are conducted fairly or accurately. Police procedure and conduct may be faulty or underhanded in a rush to charge and convict. Anyone facing allegations of murder needs the immediate protection of an experienced defender whose sole job is to ensure that you are treated fairly, that your rights are protected, and that your voice is heard throughout the legal process. The Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro can do all that and more. We bring years of experience and negotiation and trial skills to your case.
Are you under investigation or have you been arrested for murder? Reach out to our Chicago murder attorney at (312) 376-0020 or online for a free case review.
Murder Laws in Illinois
Various charges can apply related to the death of another person that carry different penalties. These penalties can range from years to decades to life in prison along with large fines and probation times. All murders are charged as felonies and convictions will leave you with a permanent felony record that can severely impact your future.
First-degree murder is charged when the killing of the alleged victim occurred without justification.
First-degree murder also involves:
- The intent to kill or to cause great bodily harm or
- Knowing that the act would likely cause death or great bodily harm or
- Killing another while engaged in the commission of another “forcible” felony, such as armed robbery, even if you did not intend to cause death or harm
Additional factors that will impact first-degree murder charges and their penalties include who the victim was and other circumstances. For example, if the alleged victim was a police officer, penalties may be more severe. Illinois has a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison for first-degree murder convictions although prison terms can be imposed for up to 60 years. Prison sentences for first-degree murder must be served fully without time off for good behavior.
Second-degree murder consists of killing another person after being seriously provoked and acting with a “sudden and intense passion.” It can also be charged when acting in self-defense when using more force than was justified for the circumstances. Second-degree murder is charged as a Class 1 felony punishable by four up to 15 years in prison.
The burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” in murder cases will rest on the prosecution which is a high bar to meet. The Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding your murder charges, challenge any weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and work aggressively to give you the best possible defense.
Contact Us Immediately
If you or someone you know is being investigated or has been arrested for murder, you need to bring in an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Our firm will provide aggressive representation in pursuit of your best interests at every phase of the criminal court process.