Cook County Homicide Defense Attorney

A Reputable Lawyer with a Track Record of Acquittals and Not-Guilty Verdicts

Homicide charges are one of the most serious accusations a defendant can face. A guilty verdict for murder could lead to years to life in prison. As a result, you deserve an attorney who will know how to fight for your life and your future. 

Attorney William Wolf is a highly experienced homicide defense lawyer who has built a decades-long reputation for acquittals and not-guilty verdicts, including:

  • Acquittal of first degree murder (People v. A.C.) on the grounds of questionable interrogation methods used in court
  • Not guilty of first degree murder (People v. C.H.) on the grounds of police pressure against witnesses
  • Not guilty of first degree murder (People v. C.D.) on the grounds of manipulated prosecution lineup
  • Acquittal of first degree murder (People v. C.F.) on the grounds of self-defense
  • Acquittal of first degree murder (People v. D.A.) on the grounds of self-defense
  • Not guilty of first degree murder (People v. R.U.) on the grounds of gang members, who did not witness the crime, accusing someone they had animosity towards
  • Acquittal of first degree murder (People v. V.C.) on the grounds of crossfire
  • Not guilty of first degree murder (People v. R.B.) on the grounds of insanity
  • Not guilty of first degree murder (People v. T.M.) on the grounds of pressure from violent friends

If you have been accused of murder, you need a defense attorney who knows how to work with the law. Attorney William Wolf can take a detailed look at your case and determine the best path of defense to get you an acquittal, not-guilty verdict, or at least a lesser charge.

Schedule a free initial consultation with The Law Office of William Wolf, LLC today.  Defending clients statewide including Will County, DuPage County, and Kane County.

What Constitutes a Crime of First Degree Murder?

First degree murder is the most severe crime of homicide in Illinois. To bring forward a case of first degree murder, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant killed another person without lawful justification and:

  • intended to kill or inflict great bodily harm to that person; 
  • knew that the act created a strong likelihood of death or great bodily harm; or
  • was attempting or committed a forcible felony (e.g., sexual assault).

If a murder is not classified as first degree murder under the above circumstances, it will likely be charged as second degree murder. 

The penalty for first degree murder is life imprisonment; the state no longer implements the death penalty.

Arguing Down to Second Degree Murder

If the first degree murder charge is based on the defendant’s intention to kill or knowledge that their conduct would likely cause death, it is possible to argue the case down to second degree murder. In particular, if the defendant is able to prove one of the following mitigation circumstances, they may instead be charged with second degree murder:

  • at the time of the killing, they acted under a sudden and intense passion (“heat of the moment”) due to provocation that ended up killing the alleged victim; or
  • they believed that the killing would have been lawfully justified (e.g., they assumed, perhaps unreasonably, that it would be an act of self-defense).

Second degree murder is a Class 1 felony punishable by 4-20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. Depending on the judge, they may grant the defendant 4-year probation instead of prison. In any case, the defendant must receive mandatory 2-year parole after their release from prison.

Attempted Murder

Another serious homicide offense is attempted murder, which is when a person takes steps to murder someone with the intention of killing them. Three key elements in an attempted murder charge are:

  • intent to kill;
  • knowledge that the actions would lead to the death of the other person;
  • premeditation (planning ahead).

Attempted murder is a Class X felony punishable by a minimum of 20 years in prison. If the attempted murder involved the use of a firearm, the court may impose an additional 15 years on the prison term. If the offender discharged the firearm, they will face an additional 20 years. In the case the discharging of the firearm caused great bodily harm, the penalties will involve an additional 25 years in prison.

Attorney William Wolf has a lengthy repertoire of successful homicide defense outcomes based on methods like proving improper investigation protocol. He can take a deeper look at your case to determine whether you have an acquittal or not-guilty verdict in your future, or at least a possible claim to a lesser charge. 

Do not hesitate to contact The Law Office of William Wolf, LLC for a free consultation to discuss your defense. Bilingual services in Spanish and Italian available.

Schedule your consultation today

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