Are you facing criminal charges because your reckless behavior caused the death of another person? Even though involuntary manslaughter is the least serious homicide offense in Chicago, it still carries significant criminal consequences. Call the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Kostopoulos Law Group for a free consultation. Attorney Gus Kostopoulos is a former prosecutor with over 20 years experience. We will fight aggressively to get minimize the consequences of your arrest and secure the best possible outcome in your criminal case.
When you meet with our legal team we will review the charges, determine the best strategy for your defense, and make sure that your rights have not been violated.
Involuntary Manslaughter in Chicago
Involuntary manslaughter occurs when you unintentionally cause the death of another person. It is the least serious crime of homicide because it is committed without intent, planning, or malice. Instead, your reckless behavior creates an unjustifiable risk of harm and results in the death of another person.
In Chicago, you can be charged with involuntary manslaughter, as defined in 720 ILCS 5/9-3, if you:
- Unintentionally kill another person without lawful justification,
- While performing acts that, whether lawful or unlawful, were likely to cause death or great bodily harm.
Unjustifiable Risk of Great Bodily Harm or Death
In order to convict you of involuntary manslaughter, the prosecution must be able to establish each element of the crime. This includes proving that you acted in a way that created an unjustifiable risk of harm. You will be considered to have acted recklessly if:
- You know that your behavior could cause great bodily harm or death,
- Ignore this risk, and
- Perform those acts anyway.
One way to determine if your conduct was reckless is asking what a reasonable person acting under similar circumstances would have done. Would a reasonable person have known that their conduct created an unjustifiable risk of harm? If they had this knowledge, would they have committed the act, anyway?
Reckless homicide is a very closely related crime to involuntary manslaughter. In fact, reckless homicide is the crime of involuntary manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle. If you unintentionally kill another person while driving a car, truck, snowmobile, or boat you will face charges for reckless homicide.
Penalties for Involuntary Manslaughter
Absent any aggravating factors, involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide are both Class 3 Felony offenses in Chicago. A Class 3 Felony conviction for involuntary manslaughter is punishable by 2-5 years in an Illinois state prison and/or $25,000 in fines.
Reckless homicide and/or involuntary manslaughter may be charged as a Class 2 Felony in Chicago in any of the following situations:
- Reckless homicide committed on a public school crossing;
- Reckless homicide committed in a maintenance or construction zone;
- Involuntary manslaughter causing the death of a peace officer; or
- Reckless homicide or involuntary manslaughter resulting in the deaths of 2 or more people.
Defending Involuntary Manslaughter Charges
You have the right to defend yourself against any accusations of criminal wrongdoing. When you are charged with a crime this means that you can assert any legal defense that helps to explain, excuse, or justify your alleged behavior. When a defense is successful the state’s attorney will have a difficult time proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney will use this as leverage to secure a reduction in charges or a full dismissal of your case. Defenses that may be helpful in your Chicago involuntary manslaughter case include:
- Self-defense or defense of another person;
- Your conduct was accidental, not reckless;
- Insanity; and/or
- Violation of your Constitutional rights.
Chicago Involuntary Manslaughter Lawyers
Are you facing criminal charges for involuntary manslaughter in Chicago? If so, do not hesitate to call the Kostopoulos Law Group for immediate legal assistance. We know that a conviction would be devastating for you and your family. Not only would you face serious time behind bars, but you would also be forced to live with the burden of a criminal record. A criminal record will affect every aspect of your life, from your ability to get a job to your right to see your own children. You have the power to fight back against the charges and potential consequences of your arrest, and we can help.
Our team of attorneys is led by Gus Kostopoulos, a former Assistant State’s Attorney. Today, Mr. Kostopoulos is a passionate and successful criminal defense attorney. He uses the insight and knowledge he gained as a prosecutor to develop powerful legal arguments for his clients and achieve positive results. He knows that your future is on the line and will be a powerful advocate throughout your criminal case. For more information, do not hesitate to call the Kostopoulos Law Group to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case, explain your rights, and answer any questions you have.