Murder charges are among the most serious an individual can face. Second degree intentional homicide is a serious felony and should be defended by a skilled homicide defense attorney. The criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. are committed to providing intelligent, aggressive criminal defense in murder cases. We’ve defended murder cases and want to speak with you about your case. At Meyer Van Severen we believe that hiring the best Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys is crucial.
Second degree intentional homicide is prohibited in section 940.05 of the Wisconsin Statutes. It’s analogous to the prior offense of manslaughter. Wis. Stat. sec. 940.05 says “Whoever causes the death of another human being with intent to kill that person is guilty of a Class B felony if: [the state concedes or cannot disprove a mitigating circumstance in a first degree intentional homicide case].
Mitigating circumstances are conditions that do not excuse criminal conduct, but are considered out of mercy or fairness in deciding the degree of the crime charged. The previously-mentioned first degree intentional homicide mitigating circumstances include adequate provocation, unnecessary defensive force, prevention of felony, or coercion.
Section 940.05(2) makes it clear that transferred intent is allowed to prove a second degree intentional homicide case. That section says “… it is sufficient to allege and prove that the defendant caused the death of another human being with intent to kill that person or another.”
Second degree intentional homicide cases can also be charged involving an unborn child. The transferred intent previously discussed changes a bit. It is sufficient for the state to allege and prove that the defendant caused the death of the unborn child with intent to kill the child, the mother, or another human. The same mitigating circumstance argument applies to second degree intentional murder cases involving unborn children.
Finally, the mitigating circumstances themselves are not defenses to prosecution for second degree intentional homicide. For example, the defendant cannot argue he was coerced into committing second degree intentional homicide. He can’t argue he was adequately provoked, that he used unnecessary defensive force, or he was trying to prevent a felony, either. Those mitigating circumstances only reduce a first degree intentional homicide down to the second degree intentional homicide level.
An element of a crime (or element of an offense) is one of a set of facts that must all be proven to convict a defendant of a crime. Before a jury or court finds a defendant guilty of a criminal offense, the prosecution must present evidence that is credible and sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed each element of the particular crime charged. The component parts that make up any particular crime vary depending on the crime. The elements of second degree intentional homicide are as follows:
We believe that you’re selling yourself short unless you hire a top Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer. The criminal defense lawyers at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. have worked on homicide cases, and want to discuss yours. Matt Meyer and Ben Van Severen have the skills necessary to win cases, and they want to win yours. Contact our Milwaukee criminal defense law firm at (414) 270-0202 today.