Wisconsin Intentional Homicide & Murder Laws Under Wisconsin law, intentional homicide is classified into two degrees: first degree intentional homicide and second degree intentional homicide. Although any homicide is often referred to as murder, the law is very specific regarding the acts (actus reus), mental intent (mens rea) and cause (actual and proximate cause, which means that the act must have been a substantial factor in causing the resulting death), and murder is a separate serious felony crime. [Murder] [Felony Murder Rule] First Degree Intentional Homicide Wisconsin Statute 940.01 defines first-degree intentional homicide as an act committed by any person causing the death of another person with the intent to kill that person or another person. First degree intentional homicide is a Class A Felony offense punishable by a mandatory life prison sentence. If the intent was to kill an unborn child, the pregnant woman of an unborn child, or another, the charge is the same as if the intent was to kill a born child or an adult. Wisconsin law provides that the resulting victim need not have been the intended victim. If the resulting victim was not the intended victim, the intent to kill the intended victim transfers to the resulting victim under the legal doctrine of transferred intent. Premeditated murder, murder with malice and aforethought, and wanton or depraved heart murder are common law terms equivalent to Wisconsin's first degree intentional homicide statute. Premeditated murder is murder with malice and aforethoght; malice is an intent to kill, and aforethought is the deliberation upon that intent. Deliberation only requires a second thought, a momentary reconsideration. Wanton disregard for human life is a malice mens rea (criminal or culpable mind). A depraved heart is the same as wanton disregard for human life; it is without regard for another person's life. An intentional homicide committed with "just cause" can be mitigated from first degree intentional homicide to second degree intentional homicide. Examples of just cause might be an imperfect self defense, adequate provocation (heat of passion crimes), unnecessary defense force, prevention of a felony, coercion or necessity. [Mitigating Circumstances] Conversely, an accidental homicide, an unintentional homicide, or a privileged killing are excusable homicides. The law allows the defendant to be excused from criminal liability because the act and the intent were not criminal. An accident homicide lacks intent, and while it may have occurred during an act in which the actor was negligent, only a homicide committed by a person who is criminally negligent and whose act and criminal negligence were a substantial factor in the resulting death is a crime. Second Degree Intentional Homicide Wisconsin statute 940.01(2) provides mitigating circumstances as affirmative defenses to first degree intentional homicide reducing the charge to second degree intentional homicide. Under Wisconsin statute 940.05, second degree intentional homicide is defined as an act by any person causing the death of another human being or unborn child with the intent to kill that person or unborn child or the mother of the unborn child. Second degree intentional homicide is a Class B Felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 60 years; additional penalties can be imposed upon a person who has prior felony or misdemeanor convictions. Wisconsin defines first degree intentional homicide and second degree intentional homicide with the same verbiage, but there is a substantial difference. Second degree intentional homicide is, in essence, common law manslaughter. Wisconsin legislature eliminated the crime of manslaughter when the Wisconsin criminal code was rewritten. Second degree intentional homicide provides stiffer penalties than the previous manslaughter law, and a means by which the state prosecuting attorney can more easily obtain a conviction. There are no affirmative defenses of mitigating circumstances available under Wisconsin statutory law to second degree intentional homicide; mitigating circumstances (self defense, coercion, adequate provocation (heat of passion murder), unnecessary defensive force, or prevention of a felony) are only available to the charge of first degree intentional homicide. If the state prosecution either fails to prove or concedes that it cannot prove that mitigating circumstances did not exist, then the charge is mitigated from first degree intentional homicide to second degree intentional homicide. Affirmative Defense An affirmative defense is part of the defendant's response to the complaint. A defendant asserts an affirmative defense through his or her attorney in response to the charges provided in the complaint. Basically, an affirmative defense states, "yes, I committed the crime, but I have a defense." The affirmative defense is usually due to mitigating circumstances. The burden of proof is upon the prosecuting attorney to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the mitigating circumstances did not exist. While that level of proof may seem difficult to achieve, juries often return incorrect verdicts. If you or someone you care about are under investigation for homicide, if you have been charged with homicide, or if you have been convicted of homicide, please contact the attorneys at Tracey Wood & Associates right away for a professional first-impression analysis of the case against you. Criminal Homicide Defense Attorneys - Tracey Wood & Associates Criminal homicide is a very serious felony charge. If convicted, the minimum penalty is sixty years in a state prison for second degree intentional homicide, and life imprisonment for first degree intentional homicide. Finding Experienced Criminal Murder Defense Lawyers The O. J. Simpson trial gave America its first view into criminal proceedings. It demonstrated, among other things, the prosecution’s vast resources available to prosecute a crime, the prosecutor’s access to forensic lab tests and results, to police witnesses and their testimony, to expert analysis and the experts who make the assessments, and to additional legal experts and their trial skills. Attorney Tracey Wood experienced a similar situation in defending one of the five people charged in a wide-ranging conspiracy scheme that actually stole missile launchers and military tanks from Ft. Mc Coy military base in northern Wisconsin. All but one other defendant in that case went to federal prison for years. The criminal system of the USA is run by humans and it cannot be perfect, but in its idealistic sense would always acquit defendants, because doubt should never be completely resolved without a confession, but it takes great skill to present the facts within the guidelines provided by law. 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.