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Homicide Attorneys Water Street office (Milwaukee's lower east side)

Homicide in Milwaukee falls under 8 specifications under Wisconsin state statute, ranging from a Class G to Class A felony, with maximum penalties ranging from a $25,000 fine and/or 10 years in prison to a life sentence.

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First-degree intentional homicide carries the highest, most severe, penalties in the state of Wisconsin if convicted. It is a Class A felony, which requires a sentence of life in prison. The question upon sentencing at that point becomes whether there is a possibility of parole. 

Second-degree intentional homicide is a class B felony that comes with a maximum of 60 years in prison.

In distinguishing between first and second-degree homicide, providing evidence of provocation, unnecessary force as a defense, prevention of a felony, or other things may be the difference between life without parole and release at some point in time.

A conviction for felony murder carries a maximum of the underlying charge plus an additional fifteen years.

First-degree reckless homicide is a Class B felony with a maximum of 60 years in prison, and second-degree reckless homicide is a Class D felony, which carries a maximum of 25 years in prison and a fine of $100,000.

Negligent homicide is a Class G felony and comes with a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire also are class G felonies.

Homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle or firearm is a Class D felony if the person has never been convicted of an OWI. The maximum possible penalties involve 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. For someone who has an OWI in their past, it becomes a Class C felony, which is punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. In addition, if more than one death occurs, you can face one charge per death. 

Homicide in Milwaukee

When someone dies in Wisconsin at the hands of another, there are many different types of criminal charges that someone could face. There is homicide, murder, reckless homicide, negligent homicide, and homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle or firearm. 

Murder is split up into first and second-degree intentional homicide. First-degree intentional homicide is defined as a homicide that occurs when one person intentionally causes another person’s death. This requires that the person had the intent to kill the victim. 

Second-degree intentional homicide is when that one person causes the death of another, but has just cause in killing the victim. 

Felony murder is defined as causing the death of another human being while committing or attempting to commit an otherwise specified crime. Those otherwise specified crimes include, but are not limited to, battery, substantial battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, arson, among other charges.

First and second-degree reckless homicide are defined as causing the death of another by criminally reckless conduct. First-degree reckless homicides require that there are circumstances where the defendant shows an utter disregard for human life. 

Negligent homicide is a homicide that results from negligent control of a vicious animal or the negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire. Homicide resulting from negligent control of a vicious animal occurs when someone knows that an animal is dangerous and lets it go or does not confine it and that animal kills another person. As the title indicates, this crime requires that the negligent handling of a weapon, explosives, or fire results in the death of another. 

Homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle or firearm results when someone is driving under the influence of an intoxicant and kills another human being.

Make sure you have an aggressive, knowledgeable attorney on your side to help defend you through such serious cases. You are only guilty if you are convicted. 

How long will homicide stay on my record?

There are many different ways that someone can be charged with the death of another, but if convicted, all of these offenses will remain on your record for the rest of your life and there is no way to remove them. Not only will you likely serve a long prison sentence, but your firearms rights will also be taken away, as will your civil rights such as voting. There is no way to remove these from your record, nor is there a way to expunge them. 

How to beat a homicide charge

With these offenses, there are different ways to beat the cases. There are various affirmative defenses that can be used in any criminal case but are much more common in these extremely high-level felonies. Various affirmative defenses in Wisconsin include self-defense, defense of others, coercion, preventing a felony from being committed, whether the underlying action caused the death, provocation, or the death would have occurred regardless of intoxication in the case of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

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We know
because we were prosecutors.

Tom Grieve, the firm's managing attorney and founder, is a former state prosecutor and is not the only ex-prosecutor at the firm. We love hiring attorneys from both sides of the wall to bring as many perspectives to fight your case as aggressively as possible. The State of Wisconsin likes it when you choose the run-of-the-mill fee to plea™ lawyers who don't even know how to analyze and defend cases instead of experienced criminal attorneys: