In Wisconsin, Second-Degree Intentional Homicide is essentially the same as First-Degree Intentional Homicide, except that there was some justifiable reason why the defendant used lethal force even though that reason did not fully justify the use of lethal force. These mitigating factors are: (1) adequate provocation; (2) unnecessary defensive force; (3) prevention of a felony; and (4) coercion. Second-Degree Intentional Homicide is a Class B Felony with a maximum sentence of 60 years confinement. A common example of this is when a spouse has been battered for years by the person she or he ended up killing, and overreacted during a verbal or minor physical altercation, killing the abusive spouse.
To prove someone guilty of Second-Degree Intentional Homicide, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) you caused the death of another person and (2) you acted with intent to kill; and yet the State cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not act based on the mitigating circumstances of: (1) adequate provocation; (2) unnecessary defensive force; (3) prevention of a felony; or (4) coercion.
To raise the defense of adequate provocation, you must show that at the time you caused the person’s death, you believed that the person had done something which caused you to lose complete self-control. This is an objective standard which means that in order for the adequate provocation showing to be sufficient, it must be that any reasonable person in your situation would have acted the same as you did. Our law firm has consistently raised successful defenses in these types of cases. Please contact our offices to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney to discuss the facts of your case.