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What Are the Penalties for Manslaughter in Wisconsin?

 Posted on February 06, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Blog ImageManslaughter is a serious criminal offense that involves unlawfully causing the death of another person. Because it is a type of homicide, a person who is convicted of this offense is likely to face harsh penalties. Understanding the laws related to manslaughter in the state of Wisconsin is crucial for anyone who has been accused of causing someone else’s death. An attorney with experience defending clients who have been charged with manslaughter or other types of homicide can help determine the best options for defense while protecting a defendant’s rights.

Types of Manslaughter Charges

Manslaughter generally involves causing someone else’s death accidentally or in situations where there were mitigating circumstances where a charge of first-degree murder would not be appropriate. Wisconsin law no longer uses the term “manslaughter,” but other types of homicide charges address cases that generally fall under this category. There are two general categories of manslaughter: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. The main difference between these two categories involves the intent behind causing someone's death.

  • Voluntary Manslaughter: This offense occurs when a person intentionally causes the death of another person but does so under circumstances that would mitigate their guilt. This could involve situations where a person acts out of sudden provocation or in self-defense. In Wisconsin, this offense is known as second-degree intentional homicide.

  • Involuntary Manslaughter: This offense may apply in cases where a person unintentionally causes someone's death while engaged in reckless conduct or without due regard for human life. Wisconsin law defines a few different offenses that may fall under this category, including second-degree reckless homicide, homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle or firearm, and homicide by negligent operation of vehicle.

Potential Penalties for Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter

Second-degree intentional homicide is a Class B felony in Wisconsin. If convicted of voluntary manslaughter, a person may face significant legal consequences, including a prison sentence of up to 60 years. Fines may also be imposed, and a person may be required to pay restitution to the family of the person who was killed.

Second-degree reckless homicide, which may be charged when a person is accused of causing someone else’s death due to reckless actions in which they disregarded the threat of injury to others, is a Class D felony in Wisconsin. A conviction may result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years and fines of up to $100,000.

A person may be charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle or firearm if they cause a car accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or fire a gun while intoxicated, resulting in someone else’s death. This form of involuntary manslaughter is a Class D felony

Charges of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle may apply if a person is found to be at fault for a car accident that resulted in someone else’s death. This offense is a Class G felony, and a conviction may result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a maximum $25,000 fine.

Contact Our Waukesha County Manslaughter Defense Lawyer

Manslaughter and other types of homicide are some of the most serious offenses a person can face in criminal court. If you have been accused of unintentionally causing someone’s death, or if you have been charged with voluntary manslaughter based on mitigating circumstances surrounding a homicide charge, you will need to work with a lawyer who has experience in these types of cases. At Bucher Law Group, LLC, our Racine County manslaughter attorney can help you understand the charges you are facing and the ideal defense strategies. We will ensure that your rights are protected during your case, and we will advocate for an outcome that will minimize the potential penalties that will affect you and your family. Contact us today at 262-303-4916 to set up your complimentary consultation.

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