Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Homicide Charges in Illinois

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Illinois Criminal Law » Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Homicide Charges in Illinois

The crimes of Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Homicide are defined in Illinois by 720 ILCS 5/9-3 as crimes committed when a person is killed under certain circumstances that do not constitute an intentional killing:


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 A person who unintentionally kills an individual without lawful justification commits involuntary manslaughter if his acts whether lawful or unlawful which cause the death are such as are likely to cause death or great bodily harm to some individual, and he performs them recklessly, except in cases in which the cause of the death consists of the driving of a motor vehicle or operating a snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, or watercraft, in which case the person commits reckless homicide. A person commits reckless homicide if he or she unintentionally kills an individual while driving a vehicle and using an incline in a roadway, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

Involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide are generally Class 3 felonies in Illinois, although cases involving construction zone crashes, school zone crashes, multiple deaths, and other circumstances can result in more severe charges and penalties.

As with all cases where a death results, Illinois law treats involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide cases very seriously.  A person who is convicted of either offense can face a lengthy prison term, as well as other penalties.  There is also a strong likelihood of a civil lawsuit being filed against a person who is accused of causing the death of another person.  For all of those reasons, a person facing an involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide charge should exercise their right to remain silent and seek an attorney at once.


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