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Can I Be Charged with Homicide Due to an Illinois Car Accident?

 Posted on June 09, 2021 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerFatal car accidents are a sad reality in Illinois, with around 1,000 people losing their lives each year. These crashes are an undeniable tragedy for the victims and their families, and they can also be incredibly difficult for the other drivers involved, who are left to cope with the mental impact and the legal consequences they may face in civil and criminal court. If you have been involved in a fatal car crash, you could face homicide and other felony charges, and it is important to work with an attorney who can help you protect your rights.

Understanding Reckless Homicide Charges in Illinois

It is important to note that not all fatal accidents will result in criminal charges against one of the drivers involved. However, if there is evidence that a driver was acting recklessly at the time of the crash, they may be charged with the criminal offense of reckless homicide. The standards for determining recklessness are similar to those for a regular reckless driving charge.

This means that in most cases, the driver must have been acting with “willful or wanton disregard” for other people’s safety, or have intentionally used an incline to make their vehicle airborne. However, certain other actions can also be considered recklessness for the purposes of a reckless homicide charge, including driving at least 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit in a school or maintenance zone or failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

In Illinois, reckless homicide is treated the same as involuntary manslaughter, making it a Class 3 felony with typical penalties of up to five years in prison and fines as determined by the court. The charges can increase to a Class 2 felony if the accident occurs in a school or maintenance zone when children or workers are present; if multiple people are killed; or if a peace officer, firefighter, or EMT is killed. Drunk drivers who cause fatal accidents can face similar Class 2 felony charges for aggravated DUI. Depending on the circumstances, a Class 2 felony reckless homicide or aggravated DUI charge can carry a penalty of up to 28 years in prison.

Contact a Cook County Homicide Defense Attorney

If you are charged with reckless homicide after a car crash, the consequences can be severe. At Luisi Legal Group, we will help you build a strong defense to contest unfounded allegations of recklessness or unreliable evidence of intoxication, possibly allowing you to avoid conviction or reduce your sentence. Contact our Chicago criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation today by calling us at 773-276-5541.






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