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Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 if you’ve been charged with homicide.

Adequate provocation is an affirmative defense focused on reducing 1st degree intentional homicide to 2nd degree intentional homicide.  Importantly, this affirmative defense only applies to cases originally charged as 1st degree intentional homicide.  It does not apply to other criminal or homicide cases.

What is adequate provocation?

Adequate provocation is defined by a very simple statute.  Specifically, Wis. Stat. sec. 939.44 begins by defining “adequate” and “provocation.”

  • “Adequate” means sufficient to cause complete lack of self-control in an ordinarily constituted person.
  • “Provocation” means something which the defendant reasonably believes the intended victim has done which causes the defendant to lack self-control completely at the time of causing death.

The statute goes on and states “Adequate provocation is an affirmative defense only to first-degree intentional homicide and mitigates that offense to 2nd-degree intentional homicide.”

What does all this mean?

Put the definitions together.  Is there a provocation and was it adequate?  If so, this defense applies.  At the initial consultation with one of the criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we can begin to figure out whether the defense applies  What’s the result for your case?  The charge is reduced from 1st degree intentional homicide (a Class A felony) to 2nd degree intentional homicide (a Class B felony).

Importantly, this statute codified what caselaw previously referred to as a crime committed under “heat of passion.”

Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. regarding your criminal case today.

The criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. defend homicide cases.  Our partners, Matthew R. Meyer, and Benjamin T. Van Severen, have worked on numerous high-profile homicide cases throughout the state.  To begin working on your case, and to begin discussing adequate provocation, contact us today.  Phones are answered 24/7 at (414) 270-0202.