Felony murder is a serious crime. At Milwaukee criminal defense law firm Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we focus on providing clients smart, serious criminal defense. Our criminal defense attorneys, Matthew R. Meyer and Benjamin T. Van Severen are committed to fighting all criminal cases throughout the state. Meyer and Van Severen have worked on high profile cases ranging from places like Manitowoc County, WI to Milwaukee, to Madison. No matter the murder charge you’re facing, our skilled Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys are ready to assist you.
Felony murder is defined by section 940.03 of the Wisconsin Statutes. That statute indicates:
Whoever causes the death of another human being while committing or attempting to commit a crime specified in s. 940.19, 940.195, 940.20, 940.201, 940.203, 940.225 (1) or (2) (a), 940.30, 940.31, 943.02, 943.10 (2), 943.23 (1g), or 943.32 (2) may be imprisoned for not more than 15 years in excess of the maximum term of imprisonment provided by law for that crime or attempt.
The additional statutes mentioned within felony murder define the felonies that must be committed/attempted while the murder occurs. They include battery, substantial battery, aggravated battery, battery to an unborn child, battery by prisoners, battery or threat to a witness, battery or threat to a judge/prosecutor, law enforcement officer, sexual assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, arson, burglary, operating a vehicle without owners consent, and armed robbery.
Appellate courts in Wisconsin have clarified a few different points regarding felony murder. First, attempted felony murder does not exist. In State v. Briggs, 218 Wis. 2d 61, the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin found that an attempt requires intent. Felony murder itself is complete with intent. Therefore, even an attempted crime that involves a death qualifies as felony murder.
In State. v. Below, 2011 WI App 64, the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin found that an actors is deemed to have caused the death “if his or her conduct is a substantial factor in bringing about that result. A substantial factor need not be the sole cause of death for one to be held legally culpable. Whether an intervening act was negligent, intentional, or legally wrongful is irrelevant. The state must still prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s acts were a substantial factor in producing the death.”
Homicide cases are all defended differently. Sometimes a co-actor implicates the defendant. In other cases, an eye-witness identifies the defendant. Finally, a murder case might involve circumstantial evidence that points towards the defendant. No matter the case, things like mistaken identity, police overreaches, and lying witnesses are just a few issues criminal defense attorneys face in murder cases. Our criminal defense lawyers will dig through your case and figure out the issues. If we find a motion issue, we’ll file the motion. If you want to proceed to trial, we’ll go to trial.
We take your case seriously. Our criminal defense lawyers understand that facing a serious criminal conviction could have a significant impact on the rest of your life. Our young, intelligent, aggressive defense attorneys fight for their clients. Contact Milwaukee criminal defense firm Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 regarding your felony murder case today.