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February 2013 Archives

What Is Second Degree Murder in Illinois?

Second degree murder in Illinois is similar to first degree murder except that there are certain mitigating circumstances which justify the lesser charge.

Generally, to prove second degree murder, the prosecutor has to prove the same elements as first degree murder. That the defendant killed an individual without lawful justification and intended to kill the victim or do great bodily harm. Or that the defendant killed an individual without lawful justification knowing that his acts create a strong probability of causing death or great bodily harm.

What Is First Degree Murder in Illinois?

Not all forms of homicide are the same. First degree murder is the most serious homicide charge in Illinois and carries a possible life sentence. Lesser forms of homicide in the state include second degree murder as well as manslaughter charges.

Because of the seriousness of first degree murder, prosecutors can only charge someone of the crime in limited circumstances.

Constitutional Amendments That Every Defendant Should Know

If you have been charged with a crime, there are several constitutional amendments you should be aware of.

Learning these amendments isn't for the purpose of making you smarter or to appear more worldly. Instead, your criminal defense lawyer can use them to defeat criminal charges and even help to exonerate you.

Here are some of the most important amendments for criminal defendants:

Is a Sex Offender Living Near You?

Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a wonderful school district. You think you've found the home of your dreams. But what if there is a registered sex offender living next door? You'll need to know the steps for how to find a sex offender in your neighborhood.

In Illinois, state police maintain a statewide Sex Offender Database that identifies persons who have been convicted of certain sex offenses or crimes against children.

In general, individuals who are required to register are those who have been convicted of certain crimes like child sexual abuse or attempted abuse. The database also includes those who were found not guilty of the crime due to insanity.