A murder occurs when an individual kills another person with malice aforethought or the knowledge that this course of action will surely end in death. Murder in Illinois can be a crime of passion or a premeditated event. If you have been charged with murder, then you may face a very serious and life-stopping felony conviction and may spend anywhere between 4 years to life in prison, with a possibility of receiving the death penalty.
The Champaign murder defense lawyers of Bruno Law Offices have been defending offenders in the Champaign and Urbana areas for years. Contact us today at (217) 328-6000 to learn more about how we can help you or someone you love faces a murder charge. Our consultations are always free.
Why do I need an attorney?
For many people, the severity of a murder charge can make any efforts to lessen the consequences or reach an acquittal feel hopeless. However, allowing the court to appoint an inexperienced defense lawyer or even representing yourself in a murder case can be a life-ending mistake.
Prosecutors in the state of Illinois have the experience they need to win a murder case against a defense attorney who does not invest serious time and resources into their case. The Bruno Law Offices offers the most dedicated and comprehensive services for our murder cases, devoting their expertise to ensure their clients win their cases.
If you have been charged with first or second-degree murder, it is important to choose an attorney to represent you before you speak with law enforcement, courts, or anyone else involved in the case.
Bruno Law Offices Is Here to Defend You
The homicide mortality rate in the state of Illinois is one of the ten highest in the country. A state with a high homicide mortality rate generates hundreds of law offices that offer murder defense services. Why should you choose the Bruno Law Offices among all Champaign County and downstate Illinois defense lawyers to handle your murder case?
Since 1980, Thomas Bruno has been aggressively defending the rights of defendants in Champaign and Urbana. Now working with his two sons Anthony and Evan, the Bruno Law Offices has almost forty years of combined experience. Time and time again, our office has won the trust and the cases of our clients. Few firms in all of downstate Illinois can match the quality of practice or years of proven experience.
The cases we take are those that get prosecuted the hardest, with the most at stake. When your life or the life of a loved one is on the line, you need a strong and sharp lawyer ready to fight relentlessly for you. The Bruno family is that team. We have a reputation among judges, prosecutors, and other law offices for saving our client’s lives with acquittals, reduced charges, and appeals.
The Bruno Law Offices has the forensic knowledge, legal experience, and investigative determination you need to get you through what this trying time in your life. Our clients know they will be treated with the respect and compassion they deserve, and that their cases will be fought by confident, tireless attorneys who won’t crack under pressure. Call us today for a free consultation at (217) 600-2851.
First-degree murder is a crime that is punished the harshest out of all criminal acts. It is carried out when the murderer unlawfully kills another person, either intentionally or while attempting to commit a different, aggressive felony. First-degree murder offenders could face anywhere from 20 years to life in prison.
Because Illinois is a state that enforces capital punishment, certain murderers whose crimes involve certain aggravating factors may face the death penalty as punishment. Killing a law enforcement officer, killing more than one person, or killing for financial gain are all examples of acts that may warrant capital punishment.
An experienced defense attorney can build a strong case by arguing that the client did not satisfy all of the required elements of first-degree murder. First-degree murder requires intent to commit the crime and knowledge that the perpetrator’s actions would cause the murder. An attorney may try to prove that the client did not kill or intend to kill the victim or did not know that their actions would result in homicide. We may also argue that the client is insane, or not in control of their mental faculties, intoxicated, or acted in self-defense.
Any of these arguments may lessen the severity of the charge to second-degree murder or something more minor or may lessen the consequences of a conviction.
Second-degree murder, also known as voluntary manslaughter, is a lesser crime than first-degree murder. It differs from first-degree murder in that a mitigating factor is present – either the murderer unreasonably believed that he or she was justified in killing the victim, or the murderer was provoked by the intended target and, in the heat of the moment, unintentionally killed another person.
Voluntary manslaughter cases require that the defendant prove that they acted from serious provocation. Second-degree murder can take place with the intent to kill but unlike a first-degree murder charge, the defendant must show the court that they committed the act without premeditation, as a crime of passion. An attorney must create a compelling argument that the client was seriously provoked by the victim.
In order to do this, a lawyer may argue that the client lacked the intent to kill, that the victim showed signs of serious provocation, that the client acted in self-defense, or that the client was not in control of their faculties due to intoxication or insanity.
Second-degree murder is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and anywhere from 4 to 20 years in prison.
Murder Charges in Illinois
According to the FBI’s 2017 report on Crime in the United States, the murder rate in Illinois is 7.8 murders per 100,000 people, a spike from the national average of 5.3. And according to the nonprofit Murder Accountability Project (MAP) as of 2015, Illinois trails all other states in convicting individuals of murder charges. MAP’s surveys of law enforcement agencies find that the clearance rate, or the rate at which offenders are charged for a crime recorded, is exceedingly low in Illinois.
Despite a rising number of murder crimes committed in the state of Illinois, the state’s murder conviction rate remains low among other states. To bridge this gap, law enforcement agencies can accuse anyone seeming to be remotely involved in the case of murder. Our defense attorneys are equipped to deal with wrongful charges and will counter in every case with the evidence and arguments needed to reach the least consequential charge possible for our clients.
If you or someone you love has been charged with murder, then the Champaign murder defense lawyers of Bruno Law Offices can help. Contact us today at (217) 328-6000 to speak with a qualified attorney about how we can help you form a strong and effective defense. Our first consultations are always free of charge.