Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers honors Attorney Christopher T. Van Wagner for numerous murder and attempted murder acquittals with the highest statewide recognition - the Martin Hanson Advocate Prize. WACDL also presented Attorney Van Wagner with "Warrior of the Year" for a particularly difficult murder case in which five attorneys had previously abandoned the defense of a former district attorney accused of trying to shoot and kill a guest at his home.
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Negligent homicide is defined by Wisconsin law as a criminal offense that is committed by a person whose negligence is the direct cause of another person's death. (see Elements of the crime of homicide). Negligence in law occurs when a person does not observe an obligation or duty where a legal obligation or duty exists or behaves in a manner lacking reasonable care. The law assumes that people will take a reasonable amount of care in all of their actions. Reasonable care is a degree of caution or care that a competent person in the same line of business, work, or activity should or is expected to exercise under similar circumstances. Negligence is then the lack of reasonable care and includes both actions with negligence and failure to act where a duty or obligation exists, and criminal negligence is a higher degree of negligence. [see Criminal Negligence]
Negligent homicide is sometimes referred to as murder, unintentional homicide, or accidental homicide due to an unintended result or unintended victim.
Negligent Homicide By A Vicious Animal
Wisconsin statutes provide that if a person owns an animal that he or she knows to be vicious, and intentionally allows that animal to roam freely or keeps the animal without ordinary care, and that animal kills a person who has taken all of the precautions permitted under the circumstances to avoid the animal while the animal is free or unconfined, then that animal's owner can be charged with negligent homicide. The criminal charge of homicide resulting from the negligent control of a vicious animal is a Class G felony.
An exception to the "known viciousness of an animal" rule exists where the animal is known or classified as a vicious or wild animal, such as would be the case if the animal were a tiger, snake or other typically non-domiciled animal.
Homicide By Negligent Operation Of A Vehicle
Under Wisconsin statutes, if a person causes the death of another person or an unborn child by the negligent operation or handling of a vehicle, then that person may be charged criminally with committing homicide by the negligent operation of a vehicle, which is often referred to as vehicular homicide. Wisconsin law provides that vehicular homicide is a Class G felony.
Homicide By Negligent Handling Of Dangerous Weapon, Explosives or Fire
Wisconsin statutory law provides that if a person causes the death of another person or an unborn child by the negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosive (or explosives), or fire can be charged with negligent homicide. The criminal charge of homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire is a Class G felony.
An air gun, a knife, or a bow and arrow is considered a dangerous weapon under this law.
Homicide By Intoxicated Use Of A Vehicle or Firearm
Under Wisconsin statutes, if a person causes the death of another person or an unborn child because of the manner in which he or she handles a private or commercial vehicle or an air gun or a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant, with a detectable amount of restricted controlled substance in his or her blood, or with a prohibited blood alcohol concentration level, then that person can be charged with a Class D felony if they have no other prior counting charges against them. (See prior convictions).
Homicide By Intoxicated Use Of A Vehicle or Firearm with Prior Convictions, Suspensions, Revocations
In the situation above, and when a person has prior convictions, suspensions, or revocations, the charge can be increased to a Class C felony. Additionally, other restrictions can apply if a person has prior convictions (please refer to "Challenging Prior Convictions," written by Attorney Tracey Wood).
Intentional -vs- Unintentional Homicide
Wisconsin law does not provide for the crime of 'unintentional homicide', a homicide committed without intent is still a homicide, although it may be reckless or negligent. A negligent homicide may still have intent, but the intent may have been to do some other act. As well, the act intended may differ from the act that resulted and the person may still be charged with homicide.
Van Wagner & Wood Will Defend You
Regardless of the charges against you, the criminal defense lawyers at Van Wagner & Wood will defend you. When you place your trust in the hands of Van Wagner & Wood's attorneys, you can rest assuredly that you have done all that you can to ensure the best possible outcome. The criminal defense attorneys of Van Wagner & Wood have won several outright acquittals for their clients, and while there are no guarantees, their record clearly reflects their hard work, their intelligent and professional approach to their cases, and their skill in developing a strategy that fits an individual clients case, while drawing upon their knowledge, experience and skill from past cases.
Successful Criminal Defense Attorneys
The dedicated diligent hard work and solid intelligent legal strateis of the successful criminal & drunk driving defense firm of Van Wagner & Wood has earned the attorneys national and statewide honors and recognition. Attorney Chris Van Wagner has handled matters in rural and urban counties, not to mention the hardened criminal courtrooms of Chicago, Illinois and Trenton, New Jersey, winning cases he was expected to lose quickly. Attorney Tracey Wood won an outright acquittal (not guilty verdict) in the largest military theft case in Wisconsin. Several defendants in that case were sentenced to very long federal prison terms.
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers
Attorney Chris Van Wagner has handled nearly one hundred felony trials in his twenty-plus years as an attorney. His trial cases have ranged from low-level offense all the way to kidnapping, homicide and domestic terrorism.
Attorney Tracey Wood is one of few lawyers in the country consulted by a majority of criminal defense lawyers while they are preparing a legal strategy for their clients. In a case that made the national headlines a few years ago, Attorney Tracey Wood won an outright acquittal when her client was cleared of any wrongdoing in a wide-ranging and emboldened conspiracy scheme that actually stole missile launchers and military tanks from the Ft. McCoy military base in northern Wisconsin.
Trial or Appeal, State or Federal Court
In addition to this solid and successful trial history, Chris and Tracey have also argued and won appeals to the Wisconsin Appellate Court and the US Court of Appeals.
In cases where the court appoints an attorney for the defendant, which is not the same as a public defender, the courts require a certain proven level of expertise of the attorney before the court will appoint that attorney to defend a person charged with a very serious crime. The courts are familiar with the level of expert advice that Attorney Chris Van Wagner and Attorney Tracey Wood provide to their clients, and their level of expertise exhibited in the courtroom. For that reason, the courts have often appointed Chris to represent clients charged with very serious crimes such as negligent homicide. Tracey has often been appointed to defend people with prior convictions.
The criminal attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood defend people against criminal charges. They most often appear in the counties and courts listed on the Wisconsin Courts page.
Initial Consultation Free
If you have been charged with negligent homicide, or if you already have been convicted and believe your conviction was wrong, please contact the law offices of Van Wagner & Wood. Either Attorney Chris Van Wagner or Attorney Tracey Wood will provide you with a free initial first impression analysis of the case against you so that you can make a very critical decision: how best to defend yourself against the prosecutor's case.
Madison's Best Criminal Defense Lawyers
The criminal defense lawyers of Van Wagner & Wood, former federal and state prosecutor Chris Van Wagner, and current field sobriety test instructor and winner of an outright acquittal in the largest military theft case ever trial in Wisconsin Tracey Wood, defend people in Wisconsin who are under investigation for serious crimes, or who have already been charged with a serious crime such as negligent homicide, or who have already been convicted of a serious crime but believe their conviction or their sentence were wrong. For a confidential professional first analysis of the case against you, please contact the firm right away.