Milwaukee Murder Defense Lawyers

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being. Wisconsin law recognizes two degrees of murder, based on the defendant’s intentions and whether the crime was premeditated.

  • First Degree: The defendant is accused of deliberate and premeditated homicide. If a person dies during the commission of a dangerous felony (arson, kidnapping, burglary, rape or robbery) the person who committed that felony can be charged with first degree murder, even if the death was an accident.
  • Second Degree: The defendant is accused of deliberately killing another person, but not planning the act beforehand in any way. Additionally, according to this charge, the defendant was not experiencing any heat of passion at the time of the killing. Dangerous misconduct resulting in someone’s death can be tried as second degree murder.


Provocation can be an affirmative defense to murder charges. An affirmative defense is when a person acknowledges their guilt but claims there were mitigating circumstances. If the victim was acting in an extremely outrageous way to try to provoke the defendant, charges can be changed from murder to manslaughter under certain conditions.

Penalties for Murder

  • First degree murder is a Class A felony. The penalty is life in prison.
  • Second degree murder is a Class B felony. The penalty is up to 60 years in prison.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with murder, you will need the best defense attorney you can find. Milwaukee murder defense lawyers Hart Powell, S.C. have the experience and education necessary to protect your rights. Contact us at (414) 271-9595.