Closely related to the charge of involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide is another serious charge you can face after the accidental, unlawful death of another person.
What’s the main difference? Involuntary manslaughter can happen in many different ways, while reckless homicide involves the use of a motor vehicle (including snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and watercraft). This charge is frequently applied after a fatal car or truck accident.
How a fatal car accident goes from negligence to reckless homicide
You can be charged with reckless homicide if the prosecutor believes that you were driving in a way that was highly likely to cause either great bodily injury or death to someone.
For example, you could face this charge for driving while intoxicated or high. You could also face this charge for letting people pile into the bed of your pickup truck and traveling down the road. Should one or more of them fall out and die when you take a turn too fast, reckless homicide charges could ensue.
You can also be charged with reckless homicide if someone dies after you use the incline on a hill, bridge or railway crossing to jump your car and make it go airborne.
What to expect from a reckless homicide conviction
A reckless homicide charge is a Class 3 felony in Illinois. If you’re convicted, you could face up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
If your charges are enhanced by certain aggravating factors, such as being in a construction zone when the accident happened, you face a Class 2 felony. That can carry up to 28 years in prison, plus fines.
There’s a lot at stake with a reckless homicide charge, so don’t talk to the police or try to handle the situation on your own. You need an aggressive legal advocate by your side who isn’t afraid to fight for your rights and protect your future.