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Murder Defense in Illinois

Murder in Illinois is defined as the criminal act of intentionally taking another person's life. Under Illinois law, murder charges are classified as either first degree murder or second degree murder, and experienced Illinois Murder defense lawyers Fagan, Fagan & Davis can help you in Chicago area courts.

First Degree Murder

A person will face first degree murder charges pursuant to 720 ILCS 5/9-1 when:

  • They kill an individual without lawful justification, and:
    • they intended to kill or inflict bodily injury to the victim or they knew their actions would cause death or injury; or
    • they knew their actions created a strong probability of death or bodily injury; or
    • they committed, or attempted to commit, a forcible felony (other than second degree murder)

Second Degree Murder

A person will face second degree murder charges when:

  • They kill an individual without lawful justification, and:
    • at the time of the killing they were under a sudden and intense passion due to a serious provocation by the victim or by another person the defendant was trying to injure or kill; or
    • At the time of the killing they felt they had reasonable cause to believe their actions were necessary to protect themselves or another against the victim's use of unlawful force, but in reality, their actions were not justified. (Note: A person is only justified in causing injury or death when there is reasonable cause to believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death, great bodily harm to themselves or another or during the commission of a forcible felony).

If you are convicted of murder, you can expect to face harsh legal penalties. First degree murder is a felony offense that is punishable by no less than 40-60 years in prison. If a firearm (a gun) is used, that range is increased to between 45 and 85 years. No good time credit is available. In some cases a natural life sentence may apply.

Second degree murder is a lesser felony charge that carries a sentence of 4 to 20 years in prison. However, in some second degree murder cases probation is available as an alternative to jail.

Bail Bond in Murder or Attempt Murder

In many cases, pursuant to Illinois law in the Bail Statue found at 725 ILCS 5/110-4 section b, a defendant who is charged with an offense eligible for punishment by a life sentence must be denied bail if the Court is presented with some basic evidence that the proof is evident and that the presumption created by that evidence of the Defendant's guilt is great. Typically bail bond will initially be denied. In a later hearing the Defendant can attempt to be given a bail bond but must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Court that the proof of the defendant's guilt is not evident and that the presumption of guilt is not great.    

Have you been charged with murder in Chicago?

If you or someone you love is facing charges for murder, it's imperative that you retain the representation of a criminal defense team that has extensive knowledge, skill, and practice defending against murder charges. Our team has experience defending people against all degrees of murder. Murder is the most serious crime a person can commit, and will undoubtedly result in intense criminal prosecution.

In many murder cases, the prosecution's investigation will begin well before you're even aware of your charges. These prosecutors are very powerful, backed by unlimited resources and numerous people supporting their case. They are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure you are convicted of the charges, and are not afraid to seek the toughest penalties possible.

At Fagan, Fagan & Davis, we know you have a lot riding on this case. We promise to do our utmost to protect your rights, aggressively fight your charges, and provide you with the superior defense you need to increase your chances of avoiding a life-altering conviction.

Where do we appear in court?

Our Des Plaines location is strategically located minutes from I-294, Edens expressway and I-355. We regularly appear for Illinois Criminal defense, DUI defense and Traffic violations throughout Cook, Lake and DuPage county courts, including all of Chicago, Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Bridgeview, Markham, Maywood, Waukegan, Wheaton and more.

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