Milwaukee Criminally Negligent Homicide Attorneys
Hart Powell, S.C. has been defending clients facing criminal convictions since 1993. Our dedicated legal team will create an effective strategy to get your case dismissed or the charges reduced. We understand the impact a criminal conviction can have on someone’s life. It can tear apart your family, ruin your reputation, and take away your freedom and future. You can depend on us to protect your rights and remain by your side during this fight.
If you were arrested or charged with criminally negligent homicide, you’ll need someone with the experience, knowledge, and resources to create a defense and ensure you don’t have to serve the maximum sentence. We are passionate about providing each client with the best possible defense, and we’ll work effectively to show the judge and jury that convicting you would not be the right or reasonable thing to do.
Call (414) 271-9595 immediately to speak with one of the Milwaukee homicide defense attorneys from Hart Powell, S.C..
Defining the Act of Criminally Negligent Homicide
Negligent homicide occurs when someone’s negligence causes another person’s death. It’s also referred to as involuntary manslaughter. The legal theory of negligence refers to one party’s failure to provide another with a duty of care or recognize the risks of their actions that led to an injury or death.
Many crimes like this are the result of someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If they cause an accident and someone dies, they could face charges for criminally negligent homicide.
The two most common types of negligent homicide include:
- Voluntary manslaughter: The offender had no intent to kill someone, but a person died due to their actions. For example, a physical altercation that caused the victim’s accidental death.
- Reckless homicide: Causing another person’s death by negligent acts. For example, driving at excessive speeds and causing a fatal collision.
Know Your Rights After an Arrest
There are various rights afforded to you, even if you get arrested for a crime. You should know what they are and assert them at any time during the legal process. If an officer violates your rights in any way, you might be able to get your charges reduced or dropped.
Right to remain silent. This is exactly how it sounds. During your arrest and booking into jail, you don’t have to say anything to law enforcement, except your name if they ask you to identify yourself. If someone asks you questions about the crime you allegedly committed, you can assert your right to remain silent and ask to speak to your lawyer.
Right to know the charges. The officer must inform you of the reason they arrested you and the offense you’re being charged with.
Right to a lawyer. If you want to call your Milwaukee criminally negligent homicide attorney or hire a public defender, tell the officer. They must provide you with the means to seek legal representation when you ask for it.
Right against unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement wants to search your person, home, or vehicle, they must obtain a valid search warrant. Illegal searches and collection of evidence can affect your case and give the judge reason to dismiss the charges.
Right to a speedy trial. You shouldn’t spend an unnecessary amount of time in jail before your first court appearance. However, there are times when it might be beneficial to waive this right, so your lawyer has additional time to build your case.
Sentencing for Criminally Negligent Homicide in Wisconsin
The penalty for a negligent homicide conviction might depend on various factors, such as the offender’s criminal history and whether a weapon contributed to the victim’s death. Wisconsin mandates minimum sentencing guidelines for different types of homicide offenses.
Class G felony
- Homicide by negligent vehicle operation or use of explosives, fire, or dangerous weapon
- Maximum of 10 years in prison
- Up to $25,000 fine
Class D felony
- Homicide by negligent use of a firearm or vehicle
- Maximum of 25 years in prison
- Up to $100,000 fine
- Class C felony for repeat offenders resulting in a maximum of 40 years in prison
Class B felony
- Reckless homicide and voluntary manslaughter
- Maximum of 60 years in prison
- No fine
Besides spending time behind bars, you could face challenges in your personal and professional life. After your release, the charges become part of your permanent criminal record. You might have difficulty finding and maintaining employment or applying for higher education.
A negligent homicide conviction also causes problems in your social life. You could lose friends, and neighbors might alienate you in an attempt to force you out of the neighborhood.
You already suffered enough, and we want to secure your future so you don’t encounter any more obstacles along the way. Our ultimate goal is to get your case dismissed so your crime doesn’t become a matter of public record for anyone to see.
Defending Yourself Against Charges of Criminally Negligent Homicide
Hart Powell, S.C. will thoroughly investigate and determine the right strategy to defend the charges you’re facing. We know you’re worried about your future and how a guilty verdict could affect the rest of your life. You can depend on us to work efficiently and diligently to prepare for the legal road ahead.
Common defenses used in cases like yours include:
- Causation: The prosecutor must prove that your actions were a contributing factor in the victim’s death. If they would have died regardless of what you did, you cannot be found guilty of negligent homicide.
- Self-defense: If you feared for your safety or life somehow, that could be a valid excuse for the actions you took.
- Accident: Sometimes, things like this happen through no fault of the accused. For example, if you were safely operating your vehicle and got into an accident that resulted in another person’s death, there’s nothing you could have done to avoid that.
- Mistaken identity: A witness incorrectly identified you as the perpetrator.
- Innocent: You’re not involved in the crime prosecutors are accusing you of committing. We can develop an alibi that places you somewhere else or find witnesses to testify on your behalf.
- Violation of rights: Law enforcement might have performed an illegal search, obtained evidence unlawfully, or failed to read you your Miranda rights during the arrest. We could challenge the charges against you or argue for a lesser sentence.
- Mental illness or incompetency: You weren’t of sound mind and didn’t realize what you were doing was illegal or could harm someone.
- Forensic evidence: Homicide cases typically require DNA and other forensic reports to prove the offender is guilty. If there are discrepancies with the results or they weren’t handled properly, we can file a motion to dismiss it from being presented during the trial.
Why You Should Hire Hart Powell, S.C.
We have an esteemed team of Milwaukee criminally negligent homicide lawyers. We’ve won awards and been recognized by various legal organizations for our hard work and case results. Some of these organizations include:
- Super Lawyers
- Law & Politics Magazine
- National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers”
- 10.0 Superb rating by Avvo
We’ve been representing clients like you throughout Wisconsin. We understand the legal system inside and out and can guide you through it. You won’t have to worry about being alone in this fight. We’ll be your advocate and voice during this difficult ordeal.
When you hire us, we will take care of every legal aspect of your case. You won’t have to worry about handling anything yourself. We’ll explain the process so you know what to expect. Our team is available 24/7 to take your call so you can reach us when you need us. We make sure there’s always someone around to answer our clients’ questions and provide status updates.
At Hart Powell, S.C., our Milwaukee criminally negligent homicide lawyers have over 30 years of experience creating effective defense strategies. You can feel confident knowing you’re in excellent hands. We care about our clients and will always make you and your case a priority.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
At Hart Powell, S.C., we offer an initial consultation free of charge. There’s no risk for you to meet with us to discuss your case. We know you already feel the burden of your arrest or criminal charges. We don’t want to add additional stress to your life. We’ll be happy to review all the details to determine the available legal options and how we can best defend you.
Our Milwaukee criminally negligent homicide lawyers will do whatever it takes to clear your name. You deserve a second chance and a fresh start. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of the criminal process or already went to trial and want to overturn your conviction, you can depend on us. Call Hart Powell, S.C. today at (414) 271-9595.