Voluntary manslaughter is a homicide related offense. Homicide is an offense that results in an intentional or unintentional killing of another human being.
Voluntary manslaughter, although more serious than involuntary manslaughter, is not as severe as first or second degree murder. Illinois voluntary manslaughter laws only recognize when the defendant kills an unborn child.
Under Illinois Law, pursuant to 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann 5/9-2.1, voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person kills an unborn child without a lawful defense at the time of the killing. A person will be convicted for voluntary manslaughter in one of two instances, if:
Voluntary manslaughter requires the culpable mental state that the defendant acted in an intentional or knowing manner or acted from a serious provocation.
Serious provocation must be a form of conduct by the victim, or another person, that would cause a reasonable person to become to inflamed with passion and cause him to act from the moment of passion, rather than reason. Serious provocation must be conduct sufficient to excite an intense passion in a reasonable person. It is important to understand that the defendant has the burden of proof to show that he/she was provoked to cause harm to the victim. If the defendant is unable to prove serious provocation, the prosecution may be able to successfully convict the defendant of first degree murder.
The defendant can argue several defenses to a charge of voluntary manslaughter, including:
Voluntary manslaughter in Illinois is classified as a Class 1 Felony, which may lead to a sentence between 4 to 15 years in prison.
If you are facing criminal prosecution for any homicide-related crime or have been charged with voluntary manslaughter, Goldman & Associates can assist you in mounting a solid defense. Contact us today for more information.
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