Champaign Second Degree Murder Defense Lawyers
The consequences that result from a second-degree murder conviction are life-altering. If you have been charged with second-degree murder, you need representation that is as serious as your charges. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will not only fight for you in court, but they will also work to make sure that you stay informed as the legal process progresses. If you are charged and do not have representation, the court will appoint you an overworked public defender. For serious criminal offenses like murder, however, you need an attorney who is going to give your case the care and attention that it deserves.
The skilled Champaign second degree murder defense attorneys at Bruno Law Offices have dedicated their careers to defending people facing criminal charges in Illinois. If you have been charged with second-degree murder, the support and legal resources of a skilled lawyer will help you approach your day in court with the confidence you need. To speak to a Champaign defense attorney today, call (217) 328-6000.
Do I Need a Second Degree Murder Defense Lawyer?
If you face a charge as serious as second-degree murder, you have plenty to lose if you are convicted. A seasoned defense attorney helps protect what you stand to lose. An attorney will help manage your affairs in court as well as keep track of any administrative needs that may arise from your case. Though suddenly being thrown into the legal system induces stress and anxiety, having an experienced defense attorney can provide crucial peace of mind that you need to face the pressure of your situation.
If you choose to hire a criminal defense lawyer, they will manage all of the legal work that needs be done on your behalf. This legal work includes making in-court appearances, filing the necessary paperwork and appeals, and completing the additional requirements of your case. Your criminal defense attorney will also keep you and your family updated on the progress of your case. A lawyer will set expectations with you and prepare you for any court appearances.
Under United States law everyone charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it is up to the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Your lawyer will be able to conduct an independent investigation of your case to develop a legal strategy that will have the best chance of introducing doubt into the prosecution’s case. With a criminal defense lawyer’s help, you have a much greater chance of having your penalties reduced or your charges dropped.
Why Choose Bruno Law Offices to Handle My Case?
Bruno Law Offices has been fighting for the people of Illinois for 38 years. We understand that being charged with a crime is a difficult and life-changing time for people and their families. Choosing the right defense team is crucial. Our skilled lawyers are dedicated to fighting for our clients and being a support system at this difficult time. If you have been charged with second-degree murder, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by your situation. A good lawyer can help you see beyond your fear of conviction to focus on developing a strong and strategic defense. Our defense lawyers use our knowledge of criminal law to make a strong case for our clients. We are dedicated to obtaining the best result for the people we work with.
Understanding Second Degree Murder
Various factors differentiate second-degree murder charges from first-degree murder, but notably, second-degree lacks premeditation. Though both crimes result in the death of another person, second-degree murder offenses often indicate that the murder was not planned and that the person charged was in an altered state of mind at the time of the crime.
In the state of Illinois, second-degree murder is considered a class 1 felony. If convicted, those charged would be subject to spend from four up to twenty years in prison, in addition to paying significant fines. Felons also lose their right to vote for the rest of their life.
There are several possible defenses for second degree murder charges, including:
- Innocence: The most common defense for murder charges is that you are, in fact innocent. Pursuing this defense will mean trying to provide an alibi and questioning the evidence of the prosecution.
- Self Defense: To use self defense as a defense for second degree murder, you will have to demonstrate that you reasonably believed that you were in danger of significant bodily harm, that you did not instigate the encounter, and that murder was your only option to escape from harm. Your actions need to be proportionate to the degree of harm you feared from the deceased. For example, if the deceased pushed you and you responded by shooting them, resulting in their death, self defense will likely not work as a defense.
- Defense of Others: Defense of others works in much the same way as self defense. The main difference is that you must have believed that the person you were defending was in danger of significant bodily harm, rather than yourself. Your actions still must be reasonable, proportionate, and the only option.
- Insanity: Insanity is a unique defense and only works with particular mental illnesses, such as if you experience delusions or hallucinations where you are not aware that you are committing murder. This defense may not relieve you of a conviction, but may instead alter your penalties.
- Intoxication: Intoxication can be voluntary and involuntary, with involuntary intoxication being a much better defense for murder. However, in either case, proving that being intoxicated led you to commit murder will still likely result in a conviction, but you may face a reduced charge and reduced penalties.
To find out which of these defenses will work best in your case, contact Bruno Law Offices right away.
A Champaign Criminal Defense Attorney Will Fight for You
If your rights are at stake after being charged with second-degree murder, seek the help of a skilled team equipped to handle your case. The murder defense lawyers at Bruno Law Offices know that you need someone to fight for your rights, and we will approach your case with respect and care. We have the legal resources to take care of you and work toward securing the best possible outcome. You don’t take your rights for granted and we don’t either. If you would like to speak with an Illinois criminal defense lawyer about your case today, contact our office at (217) 328-6000.