LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Michael Patrick Schmiege | Mar 30, 2011

Defending Against First-Degree Murder in Illinois

In the state of Illinois, criminal charges of first-degree murder are treated with especially ruthless care. For this reason, if you have recently been criminally charged or have a loved one who has been, receiving aggressive criminal defense is vastly important. Although no criminal charge deserves to be treated flippantly, it is important to realize that there are crimes that will vary in their degrees of severity. In the state of Illinois, this is especially true for first-degree murder. Due to the violence and the damage done to both the victims and the victim's families, law enforcement and prosecutors are ruthless in their attempts to convict. According to the Criminal Code of 1961, 720 ILCS 5/9 1, in Illinois, first-degree murder is committed when a person unlawfully and knowingly kills with the clear intentions of killing - knowing that the actions they are committing will cause great bodily harm. It can also be defined as first-degree murder if the actions are carried out while attempting to commit another forcible felony. There are several aggravating factors that can be added to a criminal charge of this kind which can cause the criminal to be sentenced to extreme penalties if they are successful convicted. For this reason, criminal charges of this type deserve to be taken extremely seriously. Facing penalties that could lead up to such life-altering consequences means that now, more than ever, having an experienced lawyer is of the utmost importance. Criminal cases are complex, difficult and will place your entire future on the line. Due to this, alleged criminals should not satisfy themselves with a public defender. While these are often highly-educated and skilled lawyers, they are also given an exceedingly large task load that they are forced to upkeep. They are unable to provide the amount of personalized and tailor-made solutions that would best be able to help them defend their legal rights.

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