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Not guilty! Not since the OJ Simpson trial has a verdict so shocked a community. Attorney Chris Van Wagner's client had all but admitted to homicide with a dangerous weapon. Meng had his own dream team packed into one Madison criminal defense attorney. Meanwhile, Chris Van Wagner humbly said, "We are relieved."
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Murder & Criminal Homicide

criminal defense lawyers van wagner & wood
murder & criminal homicide defense attorneys

definition of Homicide & Murder

Under Wisconsin laws, criminal homicide is defined as the intentional killing of another person or unborn child. First-degree intentional homicide is an intentional homicide of another person or unborn child with an intent to kill that person or another person. Second-degree intentional homicide (previously known as manslaughter) is a lesser homicide charge due to mitigating circumstances. Felony murder is an intentional homicide committed during the commission of a felony.

Wisconsin Criminal Homicide laws

Wisconsin criminal homicide charges include felony murder, intentional homicide, reckless homicide, and negligent homicide.

Murder (Felony Murder) is murder committed during the commission of another felony. Intentional homicide may be charged in the first degree (first degree intentional homicide) or second degree (second degree intentional homicide). Mitigating circumstances can reduce first degree intentional homicide to second degree intentional homicide or preclude prosecution (no crime). Reckless homicide may be charged when a homicide is committed with recklessness or the use of a deadly weapon; a vehicular homicide is a homicide by use of an automobile, truck, or any motorized vehicle. Negligent control of a firearm or explosive, or of a vicious animal that results in causing a death is criminal homicide.

Wisconsin law does not include statutes for manslaughter, unintentional homicide, or accidental homicide.

Felony Murder law

Felony murder is homicide committed during the commission of another crime. Felony murder is a Class A Felony. [More at felony murder] The governing legal doctrine is called the Felony Murder Rule.

Intentional Homicide laws

Under Wisconsin law, an intentional homicide is the taking of another person's life with an intent to kill or to do seriously bodily injury. [More at intentional homicide] Premeditated murder is an intentional homicide defined as taking the life of another with malice and aforethought. Malice is a premeditation of the murder, a planning of the crime, or even thinking about committing murder. Aforethought is deliberation upon that act, a second guessing, a second thought, or a 'turning' of the thought over in one's mind. Premeditated murder is charged as first degree intentional homicide.

First Degree Intentional Homicide

Under Wisconsin law, a homicide committed with an intent to kill or do serious bodily injury is a first degree intentional homicide crime. If a homicide is committed under mitigating circumstances, the charge may be mitigated to second degree intentional homicide or non-criminal homicide.

Mitigating Circumstances

If a homicide is committed under mitigating circumstances, a first degree intentional homicide may be mitigated to second degree intentional homicide or precluded from prosecution (a non-criminal act). Mitigating circumstances can include several factors, such as adequate provocation (often called the "heat of passion" crime), defensive force, prevention of a felony, coercion or necessity.

Second Degree Intentional Homicide

Second degree intentional homicide includes intentional homicide crimes that are not first degree crimes, first degree intentional homicide committed under mitigating circumstances, and certain other homicide crimes such as those homicides committed during the delivery of a controlled substance (drugs).

Unintended Victim of Homicide

If the actual victim of a criminal homicide is not the intended victim, the criminal homicide is till a crime. In most instances, if a victim was not intended, the homicide is still criminal because the intent to aim and fire existed. However, there are far too many "but for's", "what if's" and other mitigating circumstances involved in the crime of homicide to expound upon them completely in this medium. If you are under investigation for a homicide, or if you have been charged with a criminal homicide, please contact the attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood right away.

Unintended Homicide Results

If an act is not intended to cause death, but a death results, the homicide can still be charged as a criminal homicide under certain situations, and may be charged even if the circumstances do not support the charge; the allegation must then be disapproved. For example, a hunter who aims a gun and shoots with the intent to kill a deer but accidentally kills a person would require a very different defense than a person who shot at a home with the intent to scare the inhabitants and unintentionally killed an occupant. Nonetheless, under Wisconsin law both situations could and likely would be charged as a criminal homicide.

Unborn Child

Under Wisconsin law, a person who kills an unborn child can be charged with murder. If the victim is an unborn child, and if the act performed resulted in the death of the unborn child, the criminal charge is the same as if the child were wholly born or an adult.

Wisconsin law permits abortion of a fetus by a medical expert licensed to perform such abortion from the moment of conception through and up and until the statutory limit as prescribed and measured by time. Abortion is not a crime if it is committed in that period of time. Perhaps noteworthy, the appellate court specifically stated that laws against killing a fetus were not ever to be construed as reference of the court's opinion of abortion.

Concealing Death Of Child

Under Wisconsin law (WI Statute 948.23), any person accused and convicted of concealing the corpse of a child expired from a woman's body (meaning regardless of the term of pregnancy) for the purpose of preventing a determination of whether the fetus was born dead or alive is guilty of a Class I felony.

Finding Experienced Criminal Murder Defense Lawyers

When you consider that Wisconsin's crime rates are very low, and the number of very serious crimes such as homicide or kidnapping represent a very small percentage of the crimes committed in Wisconsin, it becomes very apparent that most of Wisconsin's criminal defense lawyers do not represent many if any people charged with very serious felony offenses. Those types of charges require a very aggressive, intelligent strategic approach that can only be learned through years of experience.

Super Lawyers, Madison's Best Criminal Defense Lawyers, Martin Hanson Advocate's Prize

Van Wagner & Wood's attorneys have tried more than 100 felony trials to verdict. Many of those cases have involved homicide, felony murder, endangerment, homicide with a deadly weapon, and vehicular homicide charges. Attorney Chris Van Wagner has won acquittals in cases that other attorneys thought were surely lost, such as one in which his client had confessed to the crimes, but was found not guilty of endangerment with a deadly weapon and felony murder. Wisconsin Courts recognize and regard the expertise of Van Wagner & Wood's attorneys. Courts have asked Attorney Van Wagner to assist in the defense of a defendant whose current criminal defense lawyer was in over his head. Attorney Tracey Wood's expertise in drunk driving law and her litigation experience have helped people accused of vehicular homicide while intoxicated.

If you are facing very serious criminal charges, an attorney's past record of felony trials, homicide and murder trials is a key factor in determining who you may want defending you.

Free Initial Consultation

If you are under investigation for homicide or murder, if you have been charged with a murder or homicide, or if you have been convicted but believe your conviction or sentencing were wrong, please call ( locally in Madison Wisconsin, or toll free nationally) right away to speak with an attorney about your case. The attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood will give you a straightforward, honest, brief but professional free first-impression analysis of the case against you so that you may make the critical decisions about your defense.

You can also send your case information to the attorneys for email or telephone response.

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