murder homicide defense attorney
Wisconsin murder & homicide penalties & defenses
wisconsin felony penalties
Class A Felony: mandatory life sentence to prison.
Class B Felony: Up to 60 years prison sentence.
Class C Felony: Up to 40 years prison sentence, up to $100,000 in fines, or both.
The most common plea to a murder charge is an innocent plea, which then requires the state prosecuting attorney (or attorneys as is sometimes the case) to prove every of the elements of the crime, and at the very least: that it was the alleged defendant's intent and purpose to cause the death of another person, that the actions taken were capable of causing the death, and that the defendant was able to cause the death.
Provocation "Heat of passion" crimes
Provocation is a defense that people talk about often and sometimes refer to the defense as a “heat of passion” crime. Provocation is an affirmative defense that admits to the act of the crime but asserts that the crime was committed under mitigating circumstances – i.e. sudden provocation. In essence, when a defendant asserts an affirmative defense, he or she takes responsibility for having done the act (the actus reus of the crime) that resulted in a death, but because of the alleged defendant’s intent or mental state (the mens rea of the crime), the defendant should not be held criminally liable for the crime charged. Most states, Wisconsin being one of them, provide a lessor criminal charge when circumstances allow more severe charges to be reduced because of some mitigating circumstance. If a murder charge is successfully mitigated to a lessor provocation crime, the charges will be reduced to second degree intentional homicide (commonly known as manslaughter).
Self defense is another affirmative defense, but it differs in defense strategies and results. If a self defense claim is raised by the defense, it must be proven not to exist beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecuting attorney. Evidence and facts may be needed for the prosecution to prove its burden, but the burden of proof can quickly shift on questions of reasonable force, possible retreat, and retaliation, leaving the burden of proof on the defendant's shoulders. To overcome the complex strategies used in any murder trial, a person is wise to hire a very experienced Criminal Defense Attorney.
defense of another
Defense of another parallels a self defense plea. A person has a right to defend another person in the same fashion as if he or she were defending him or herself from an attack of deadly force. As well, the considerations taken into account for a self defense plea are also considered in a defense of another plea including reasonable force and ability to retreat from the crime scene.
In either situation – self defense or defense of another person – a successful defense will relieve the alleged defendant of any criminal liability, thus charges will be dismissed, and the defendant will set free.
free initial consultation
If you are under investigation for murder or if you have been arrested on murder charges, please contact Bednarek Law Office for a free initial consultation.
If you have already been convicted on murder charges, and want to appeal your conviction or sentence, please contact Bednark Law Offices for a free initial consultation about how the attorneys can help you appeal.