In Illinois, killing another person in a road accident as a result of negligent or reckless actions is a felony. With penalties including significant fines and years spent in state prison, you should make every effort to avoid a conviction. Chicago traffic lawyer Michael O’Meara has decades of experience protecting people’s freedom, and he stands ready to defend your interests as you face the criminal justice system.
Call 312-909-0706 today to see how O’Meara Law can help you avoid spending time behind bars.
Understanding Reckless Homicide
According to Illinois law, the crime of reckless homicide involves the involuntary killing of another person in a motor vehicle accident when the accused actions were such that they were likely to cause death or great bodily harm. Reckless actions may include driving at a high rate of speed, causing a vehicle to become airborne, or weaving through traffic dangerously.
Reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter are both listed under the same criminal law in Illinois – ILCS 5/9-3. Both crimes involve reckless behavior that results in unintentional killing; however, reckless homicide occurs when a motor vehicle is involved. Motor vehicles may include cars, trucks, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), or watercraft.
Penalties of a Reckless Homicide
Reckless homicide is a Class 3 felony. However, there are situations in which the charge of reckless homicide may involve increased penalties. For example, if the crime occurs in a public area where children are present or in a work zone, reckless homicide is a Class 2 felony. There are also enhanced consequences based on the status of the victim. Killing a peace officer in the line of duty, for example, will result in a Class 2 felony.
The criminal penalties for reckless homicide are:
- Class 3 Felony – A fine of up to $25,000 and between two and five years in state prison
- Class 2 Felony – A fine of up to $25,000 and between three and 14 years in state prison
In addition to these criminal penalties, a conviction for reckless homicide may involve any of the following collateral consequences:
- Loss of your current job
- Revoked driving privileges
- Inability to find a new job because of your criminal record
- Difficulties in gaining admission to college or university
- Inability to own or use firearms as a felon
- For non-citizens, possible deportation
How Michael O’Meara can Protect Your Freedom
The penalties for a reckless homicide conviction are severe, so you should not plead guilty to the charge before consulting an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be several available defense strategies that may lead to an acquittal or the dismissal of your charges. For example, there may be room for proving your accident was not caused by reckless actions. Through a reconstructive investigation, it may be possible to prove that your crash was caused by a flat tire or faulty brakes as opposed to your unsafe driving.
With experience as both a prosecutor and a defender, Chicago traffic lawyer Michael O’Meara can anticipate the prosecution’s strategy in order to craft a winning defense. At O’Meara Law, we have a proven track record of achieving positive outcomes in high-stakes cases.
To learn more about how we might defend your reckless homicide case, call 312-909-0706 now for a free and confidential consultation.