Wisconsin has a number of homicide statues, with varying degrees of severity. Felony murder (or first degree intentional homicide) is considered to be the most serious homicide charge, while manslaughter is classified as a lesser offense.
Technically, Wisconsin doesn’t have a manslaughter statute on the books; when the laws were rewritten, manslaughter was replaced with second degree intentional homicide. Although these are essentially the same offenses, the new criminal sentence is much harsher.
While first degree intentional homicide involves elements such as intent and premeditation, second degree homicide does not involve premeditation and often includes mitigation circumstances, which means that—while the factors do not excuse the crime—they are considered out of mercy or fairness. For example, a murder that takes place in the heat of passion may be classified as a second degree intentional homicide.
Second degree intentional homicide is a Class B felony, which is punishable by up to 60 years in prison along with expensive fines. In addition to the criminal sentence, convicted felons can face consequences in their personal and professional lives. Those with a felony on their record are barred from owning a gun, voting, or even working in certain professions (such as education or government).
A second degree intentional homicide case can have a significant impact on your life. For this reason, you owe it to yourself to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Tracey Wood & Associates, we understand the law as well as the potential defense strategies for clients facing serious charges, such as manslaughter.
Tracey Wood & Associates
1 S Pinckney St #950
Madison, WI 53703