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Chicago Murder Law

Murder comes under the legal category of homicide, which is the unlawful killing of a human being.

Murder differs from less severe crimes such as manslaughter or reckless homicide that do not involve the intent to kill. Murder involves the intent to kill, is a felony and is categorized by degree.

First degree murder is killing with the intent to kill or cause great bodily injury. It may also include knowledge that one’s actions will cause death or that the probability of death is great or bodily harm will be considerable. When a killing occurs during the commission of a forcible felony, this action is also classified as first degree murder.

Second degree murder, while similar to first degree, does not carry the same amount of deliberation. The offender may hold the belief that the killing is justified or may be acting in the heat of passion as a result of some provocation.

The penalty for first degree murder ranges from the death penalty to life without parole to 20-60 years in prison. There are lesser penalties for second degree murder or involuntary manslaughter.

In Illinois, the law provides for the death penalty for murder in certain circumstances. This is a complex and constantly changing area of the law. Chicago criminal defense attorney Robert Loeb has been in the forefront of this dynamic area of law, representing clients in death penalty cases and in the creation of reforms to the death penalty system by serving as the Chairman of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Committee on Capital Punishment.  Take a look at the latest Chicago criminal statistics.

To arrange a consultation to discuss your concerns regarding murder charges, please call 312-368-0611 or use our online quick contact email.


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