Saturday, June 11, 2022

CAN YOU GET IN TROUBLE FOR CONCEALING A HOMICIDAL DEATH IN ILLINOIS?

The answer is yes, if you knew the deceased had been murdered and you did something to conceal the death beyond simply withholding information.

Under 720 ILCS 5/9-3.4, you commit concealment of homicidal death when you knowingly conceal a death and you knew that the person died by homicidal means. To conceal the death, you must perform an act for the purpose of preventing or delaying discovery of the murder. Death by “homicidal means" includes any legal or illegal act that causes the death. If the evidence warrants, the state may also be able to charge you with the murder.

To convict you, the state must prove: (1) knowledge that a homicidal death has occurred and (2) an affirmative act concealing the death. These elements can at times to lead to a rather strange outcome. For example, in People v. Salinas, the defendant was convicted of concealing a homicidal death when he set fire to a car containing two gunshot victims. Later, the coroner determined that one victim was still alive at the time of the fire. Therefore, defendant’s conviction for concealing a homicidal death on that count had to be reversed.

Concealment of homicidal death is a Class 3 felony, punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. Did police follow legal procedures in obtaining any statements you may have made? Can the state prove you guilty of all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt? Even if police acted lawfully and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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