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Wisconsin Second-Degree Reckless Homicide Lawyers

Dedicated Representation Focused on Securing Favorable Outcomes for Our Clients

In Wisconsin, a Second-Degree Reckless Homicide is a Class D Felony with a maximum sentence of up to 25 years of confinement and/or $100,000.00 in fines if convicted. Second-Degree Reckless Homicide means you killed another human, yet you did so under circumstances that showed at least some regard for human life. This generally means that you took some prudent actions to prevent that person from being killed even though your overall conduct was criminally reckless.

Even with this mitigating factor, second-degree reckless homicide carries stiff penalties. You should never attempt to take on the system alone. Contact the Wisconsin second-degree reckless homicide lawyers at Casper Mehlos Law Group today for a free consultation.

What Are the Elements of Second-Degree Reckless Homicide in Wisconsin?

To convict you of Second-Degree Reckless Homicide, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • (1) you caused the death of another person (your actions were a substantial factor in causing that person’s death);
  • (2) you caused that person’s death by criminally reckless conduct (defined separately below), even though you did so under circumstances that showed some regard for human life. To prove that you acted with reckless conduct the State must demonstrate three things:
    • (1) that your conduct created a risk of death or great bodily harm to another person;
    • (2) the risk of death or great bodily harm was unreasonable and substantial; and
    • (3) you were aware that your conduct created unreasonable and substantial risk of death or great bodily harm

It is rare for the State to charge you with this offense at the beginning of your case. Most often, this charge is raised at trial as “a lesser included offense” of First-Degree Reckless Homicide, meaning that there are some circumstances where a jury might find a person not guilty of First-Degree Reckless Homicide yet guilty of Second-Degree Reckless Homicide because the actor undertook some acts to prevent the victim from being killed.

Nonetheless, there are many potential criminal defenses to Second-Degree Reckless Homicide. In the context of drug overdose charges, it is common that the person who provided the drugs that killed the overdose victim falsely accuses someone else to avoid criminal consequences.

Are There Other Potential Defenses?

In drug overdose cases, it is common for the person who overdosed to have a number of drugs in his or her system – at potentially lethal levels at the time of death, such that he or she may have died regardless of whether you provided the drugs. Another common defense is auto accident fatalities.

There can be multiple causes of an auto collision besides the driver’s reckless behavior. This includes situations where the driver’s allegedly reckless behavior was not a substantial factor in causing the other person’s death due to mechanical defects, an unanticipated event (ex., swerving to avoid a collision with another vehicle or animal), or the distracting behavior of other people in the vehicle that is outside the driver’s control.

Our criminal defense lawyers have a history of successful defenses in Reckless Homicide cases. We coordinate with leading experts such as toxicologists (scientists who study the effects of drugs on the human body), accident reconstructionist experts, and private investigators to provide our clients with the best possible defense. Please contact our law firm to discuss your case in further detail.

When Is It Time to Contact a Wisconsin Second-Degree Reckless Homicide Lawyer?

Regardless of whether prosecutors believe you had an utter disregard for human life, the simple fact is that they’ll come at you with everything they have. Perhaps you were charged in relation to distributing a controlled substance, or maybe you made a simple mistake that anyone else could’ve made. Regardless of your circumstances, seeking legal assistance immediately is in your best interest.

Since this offense often accompanies other charges, you could even see the potential for a Class C or Class B felony conviction. In many instances, the prosecutor will try to scare you with these additional charges. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this alone. The Wisconsin Second-Degree Reckless Homicide lawyers at Casper Mehlos Law Group are here to help.

Contact us at (608) 820-8926 to schedule your free consultation.