Tracey Wood & Associates - Criminal Defense and Immigration Law

Defense Attorney Tracey Wood Drunk Driving Attorney Tracey Wood is a Super Lawyer in Wisconsin
(608) 350-1004

     Attorney Tracey A. Wood , owner of Tracey Wood & Associates is an aggressive criminal defense attorney in Madison, Wisconsin.    She focuses her practice on defending the rights of individuals whether they are charged with drunken driving or more severe criminal charges including murder, sex crimes in Wisconsin, federal conspiracy or seeking an expungement of a previous conviction.
   She is known throughout the legal community as the foremost authority on Wisconsin OWI DUI laws and has been hailed for her defenses and successful trial and case record.
   Ms. Wood has been pioneering new frontiers for women in law since she entered practice in 1992. She is the first attorney from Wisconsin ever appointed as a Standardized Field Sobriety Test Instructor, and first Wisconsin attorney to be appointed to the Board of Regents to the National College for DUI Defense held at Harvard Law School. She chairs the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Strike Force for the state's largest association for criminal defense lawyers and has previously served as the President of that organization. She has authored several articles on defense against drunk driving charges including Challenging Prior Under Influence Convictions, an article discussing U.S. v. Gant in the Wisconsin Law Journal, and she has contributed to the national DUI attorneys' bible by Taylor & Oberman, entitled "Drunk Driving Defense".
   She has also won many appeals in both the Wisconsin Appellate System (most recently City of Beloit v. Steven Herbst) and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago (i.e. U.S. v. Andres Perez).

Super Lawyer Tracey Wood defends people charged with OWI or DUI
Super Lawyer Tracey Wood defends people charged with OWI or DUI
Super Lawyer Tracey Wood defends people charged with OWI or DUI
NCDD National College for DUI Defense: Tracey Wood
(608) 350-1004

Murder - Mitigating Circumstances Laws In Wisconsin



Tracey Wood & Associates
Wisconsin Criminal Defense Lawyers



Felony Murder, Negligent Homicide, Reckless Homicide, Intentional Homicide

Mitigating circumstances are affirmative defenses. If the defendant successfully claims that mitigating circumstances existed at the time of the homicide, first degree intentional homicide is reduced to second degree intentional homicide, or in some situations, the homicide is precluded from criminal prosecution because it lacks criminal liability. Mitigating circumstances are also present in sentencing guidelines and often presented to jury panels to reduce the amount of time that a person is sentenced to prison.

Application of Mitigating Circumstances

In State v. Thompson (172 Wis. 2d 257, 493 NW2d 729, Ct. App. 1992), the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held, "Whether a particular factor will be considered as a mitigating or aggravating factor will depend on the particular defendant and case."

Felony Murder Cannot Be Mitigated

A mitigating circumstances affirmative defense is not available to the charge of felony murder.

Intentional Homicide - mitigating circumstances

First Degree Intentional Homicide

Wisconsin law, Statute 940.01, First-degree intentional homicide. (1) Absent mitigating circumstances, any person who causes the death of another human being with intent to kill that person or another person, (2) or causes the death of an unborn child with intent to kill that unborn child, kill the woman who is pregnant with that unborn child, or another person is guilty of a Class A felony. [See also Wisconsin Law Intentional Homicide First & Second Degrees]

Mitigating Circumstances

Adequate Provocation

The affirmative defense of adequate provocation, sometimes called a "heat of passion crime", breaks down into three tests. The first determines if the acts actually existed that caused the defendant to become enraged. If the acts of the victim or another person existed, were those acts of the nature that they would provoke the defendant with such magnitude that a reasonable man or woman would be compelled to act in the same manner under the same circumstances. Lastly, did that provocation occur immediately before the defendant's act that caused the death. If all three of those tests are met, a defense may exist for adequate provocation, which would then result in a first-degree intentional homicide charge being reduced to second-degree intentional homicide.

Second-degree intentional homicide is often called voluntary manslaughter in other states, but Wisconsin legislatures eliminated the crime of voluntary manslaughter when the criminal statutes were codified.

Self Defense - Necessary and Unnecessary Defensive Force

If a death was caused because the actor believed he or she was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and the force used was necessary to defend the endangered person, then a first-degree intentional homicide may be reduced to second-degree intentional homicide, if either belief was unreasonable.

If the defensive force was necessary, then the homicide may be excused from criminal liability. The law defines the circumstances under which defensive force is necessary for individual protection, protection of another, and protection of society.

Prevention of Felony

If a death was caused because the actor believed that the force used was necessary in the exercise of the privilege to prevent or terminate the commission of a felony, and if that belief was unreasonable, then a first-degree intentional homicide charge can be mitigated to second-degree intentional homicide. If the belief was reasonable, then the charge may be noncriminal.

Coercion or Necessity

If a death was caused by a person who was coerced into committing an intentional homicide, or if a death was caused by a person who under extreme conditions believed a necessity existed to commit an intentional homicide, then a first-degree intentional homicide charge can be mitigated to second-degree intentional homicide. The justice system has long held extreme doubt of coercion or necessity to commit a homicide.

Burden of Proof

If the defendant enters evidence at trial presenting mitigating circumstances, then the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts constituting the defense did not exist in order to sustain a guilty finding in law of first-degree intentional homicide.

Privileged Act Affirmative Defense

As with all affirmative defenses, the defendant admits to committing a crime. In a privileged act, the defendant is admitting to having caused a death (homicide), but the law has long defined certain and specific acts that under any other circumstances would be wrong, constitute a crime, and be punishable by both imprisonment and fines. For example, in a perfect self defense affirmative defense, the accused admits to having committed a homicide, but asserts a claim that the homicide was necessary and a defensive act was required to protect himself or another from imminent death or serious bodily injury. In other words, the defendant is asking the state to excuse him of criminal liability for the murder he committed.

A police officer who in pursuit of a fleeing felon shoots and kills the felon may be privileged under the law. Whether his act if privileged depends on many factors, but generally speaking, the act would be privileged if the felon posed a danger of imminent death to the officer or another person, but may not be privileged if the death was connected to a previous argument between the police officer and the victim. In other words, privileged acts have limits.

Free but professional "first-impression" analysis

If you are under investigation or have been arrested for any crime, or if you have already been convicted of a crime and believe your conviction to be wrong or your sentence too harsh, please call (608) 350-1004 or email the Attorneys at Tracey Wood & Associates right away. An Attorney at Tracey Wood & Associates will provide you with a brief but professional free "first-impression" analysis of your appeal based on the facts that you are able to convey. You can also submit your case online or email the attorneys.




OWI DUI Attorney Tracey Wood commonly works in the following Counties: Adams, Ashland,Barron,Bayfield,Brown,Buffalo,Burnett,Calumet,Chippewa,Clark,Columbia,Crawford,Dane,Dodge,Door,Douglas,Dunn,Eau Claire,Florence,Fond du Lac,Forest, Grant,Green,Green Lake,Iowa,Iron,Jackson,Jefferson,Juneau,Kenosha,Kewaunee,La Crosse,Lafayette,Langlade,Lincoln,Manitowoc,Marathon,Marinette,Marquette,Menominee, Milwaukee,Monroe,Oconto,Oneida,Outagamie,Ozaukee,Pepin,Pierce,Polk,Portage,Price,Racine,Richland,Rock,Rusk,Sauk,Sawyer,Shawano,Sheboygan,St. Croix,Taylor,Trempealeau, Vernon,Vilas,Walworth,Washburn,Washington,Waukesha,Waupaca,Waushara,Winnebago,Wood

Please take notice that although the law firm of Tracey Wood & Associates website contains a large amount of accurate and useful legal information about drunk driving, OWI, DUI, Sex Crimes, Expungement and other serious crimes, it is not intended to be used as legal advice. Only an attorney can counsel you on your specific case. Please contact the attorney at Tracey Wood & Associates immediately should you find yourself charged with a Drunk Driving in Wisconsin, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), OWI (Operating Under the Influence) or any other serious crime in Wisconsin at (608) 350-1004. Even if your researching drunk driving laws or sex crime laws in Wisconsin, Lawyer Tracey Wood can assist you.

Attorney Tracey A. Wood , 1 South Pinckney Street Suite 950 Madison Wisconsin. (608) 350-1004

OWI DUI Sex Crimes Expungement Defense Lawyer Attorney Tracey Wood