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What You Need to Know About Reckless Homicide

 Posted on November 21, 2023 in Criminal Defense

DuPage County criminal defense lawyerNot to be confused with criminal negligence, reckless homicide involves the “reckless behavior” of an individual which results in the death of another person. Most states place reckless homicide on the same level as involuntary manslaughter. In Illinois, reckless homicide is sometimes referred to as vehicular homicide and can often be difficult to prove in a court of law. Defendants needing assistance in their case would do well to consult with a criminal defense attorney experienced in reckless homicide charges.

What is Criminal Negligence?

A criminally negligent act involves an individual behaving outside of the standard for a reasonable person when it comes to caring about the impending results of their actions, but not in a reckless way. To simplify the difference between criminal negligence and reckless homicide, criminal negligent actors do not know that their actions could result in another person losing their life, whereas someone acting recklessly would.

What Defines Recklessness in Illinois Vehicular Homicides?

An individual participates in reckless behavior by performing an act with a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another individual while knowingly disregarding the risk. So, a driver who causes an accident that results in either death or serious injury to someone else while knowing they could cause those results can face charges of reckless homicide.

The Two Types of Vehicular Homicide

Illinois has two types of vehicular homicide:

  • The involvement of death to another person while knowingly driving in a reckless manner that could cause death or injury to another person
  • The involvement of death to another person while driving recklessly on an incline in an attempt to jump a car

For a conviction to take place, there will need to be proof that the motorist involved in the accident was knowingly driving recklessly, which caused the death of another person. The prosecution must find a direct link connecting the defending driver to the death of another individual.

Is Reckless Homicide and Involuntary Manslaughter the Same Thing?

Both actions result in the death of another individual by one person who knowingly acted in a reckless manner. However, reckless homicide in Illinois involves explicitly a vehicle, whereas involuntary manslaughter does not. In other states, involuntary manslaughter might include:

  • Vehicular homicide
  • Criminal negligent homicide
  • Reckless homicide that does not involve a vehicle

Contact a DuPage County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Reckless homicide carries felony charges with hefty penalties. When facing charges of this caliber, having an experienced Naperville, IL reckless homicide defense lawyer on your side is important. The Law Office of Philip R. Nathe can assist you in your defense and provide any necessary information regarding your case. Contact our office at 630-416-7600 for a free consultation.

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