Reckless Homicide

Home / Reckless Homicide

Reckless Homicide Attorney in Illinois

A conviction on a reckless homicide charge can come with life-altering consequences, including prison time, fines, and the stigma of a criminal record. An Illinois criminal defense attorney can help you stand up for your rights and freedom when facing the criminal justice system. Contact Nold & Walsh, LLC, for an initial case evaluation to discuss how our firm can help you seek the best possible outcome to your charges given the circumstances of your case.

Why Turn to a Criminal Defense Attorney from Nold & Walsh, LLC, for Your Felony Charges?

The Illinois criminal justice system treats reckless homicide as a serious criminal offense. People convicted of reckless homicide may face significant penalties and consequences. You need experienced legal representation to defend your rights, reputation, and future. Choose the legal team at Nold & Walsh, LLC, for the advice and advocacy you need to navigate the criminal justice system because:

  • We have over three decades of experience defending clients in the Illinois criminal justice system
  •  We have a history of securing favorable results for our clients, including in bench and jury trials
  •  Our experience gives us the tools and insight to craft strong defense strategies
  • We strive to provide maximum value to our clients through respectful, honest legal representation

Illinois Reckless Homicide Laws

Under Illinois’s reckless homicide statute, a driver may face charges for reckless homicide – a form of involuntary manslaughter – if they operate a vehicle in a manner likely to cause severe injury or death and cause the death of another individual. In many cases, drivers who operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating substances and cause a fatal accident may also face charges of reckless homicide. Drivers can also face reckless homicide charges if they cause fatal accidents under circumstances such as:

  • Using an incline on a roadway to cause a vehicle to become airborne
  •  Committing an offense on a public thoroughfare used by children to go to and from school with a school crossing guard on duty
  •  Committing an offense in a construction or maintenance zone
  • Committing an offense that results in the death of a peace officer in the performance of their duties
  • Failing to yield to emergency vehicles

Penalties for a Reckless Homicide Conviction

Illinois grades reckless homicide as a Class 3 felony by default. Penalties for a conviction on a Class 3 felony charge include two to five years in prison (or an extended term of five to 10 years), a fine of up to $25,000, a probation term of up to 30 months, or a term of suspended release of up to one year.
However, the reckless homicide statute increases the grading of the charge to a Class 2 felony with unique sentencing ranges in various circumstances. For example, you may face three to seven years in prison for an offense in which you used an incline to cause a vehicle to become airborne and caused the death of two or more people, as well as for an offense involving the death of a peace officer that occurs in the course of their duties. Both of these offenses may lead to extended terms of seven to 14 years in prison, depending on the circumstances.
Additionally, you may face three to 14 years in prison for:
  • An offense committed on a public thoroughfare where children travel to and from school with a school guard on duty
  • An offense committed in a construction or maintenance zone or after failing or refusing to comply with a lawful order of a police officer or traffic control aide
  • An offense involving failing to yield to emergency vehicles
Other offenses carry penalties of six to 28 years in prison if convicted:
  • An offense committed on a public thoroughfare where children travel to and from school with a school guard on duty in which the defendant causes the death of two or more people
  • An offense committed in a construction or maintenance zone, or after failing or refusing to comply with a lawful order of a police officer or traffic control aide, in which the defendant causes the deaths of two or more people
  • An offense involving failing to yield to emergency vehicles that results in the deaths of two or more people

Common Defenses to Reckless Homicide or Vehicular Manslaughter Felony Charges

When charged with reckless homicide, you might have factual defenses you can raise to contest your charges. Common defenses used to fight a felony charge for reckless homicide include:
  • Proving That Your Behavior Did Not Constitute Reckless Driving – A reckless homicide charge requires the state to prove that you operated your vehicle in a manner likely to cause severe injury or death. An experienced criminal defense attorney can develop a compelling argument to show that your conduct did not rise to the level of recklessness, which involves a conscious disregard of a substantial risk of injury or death.
  • Challenging Whether the Incident Occurred in a School, Construction, or Maintenance Zone – When charged with reckless homicide for causing a fatal accident in a school, construction, or maintenance zone, you can reduce the grading of your charge by proving that the accident occurred outside of the protected zone.
  • Proving That You Complied with Lawful Traffic Directions or Yielded to Emergency Vehicles – You might also reduce the grading of a reckless homicide charge by proving that you correctly followed a police officer’s or traffic aide’s directions or yielded to an emergency vehicle.
  • Challenging the Evidence Supporting an Accusation of DUI – After being charged with reckless homicide in connection with an alleged DUI offense, you might contest the reliability or admissibility of evidence proving your intoxication. For example, you might challenge an officer’s qualifications to conduct field sobriety or chemical testing, whether the officer followed testing protocols, the chain of custody of blood or urine testing samples, or the failure of officers to advise you of your rights before interrogating you.

How Can a Reckless Homicide Attorney Help with Your Case in Illinois?

If you face prosecution for vehicular manslaughter in Illinois, let a criminal defense attorney from Nold & Walsh, LLC, advocate on your behalf to pursue a fair outcome to your case by:
  • Thoroughly investigating your felony charges to obtain all available evidence instead of simply relying on evidence turned over by the prosecution
  • Reviewing the facts of your case to identify possible defense strategies
  • Taking the time to help you understand the charges and the potential outcomes of your case so you know what to expect
  • Challenging the prosecution’s case at every step, including filing motions to exclude evidence or reduce or dismiss your charges
  • Negotiating for a favorable plea deal, as appropriate, or taking your case to trial to present a compelling defense if you choose to fight your charges

Contact Our Firm Today to Discuss Your Legal Options

After getting arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide in Crystal Lake, Illinois, or a nearby community, you need experienced, dedicated legal representation to defend your rights and safeguard your future. Contact Nold & Walsh, LLC, today for a confidential consultation to learn how a criminal defense attorney in McHenry County can help you pursue a favorable resolution to your charges.