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Appleton Murder Defense Attorneys

Defining Murder

Generally speaking, murder is the intentional killing of another human being. In the US, each state is allowed to maintain its own laws regarding murder. This means that the number of degrees this crime is divided into, the definition of each degree, and the penalties for convicted people will vary from state to state.

In Wisconsin law, murder refers to any form of unlawful homicide, including negligent and vehicular homicide. The intentional taking of another person's life is called “intentional homicide.” Here at the offices of Appleton murder defense attorneys Hart Powell, S.C., we are prepared to defend people facing a variety of intentional homicide charges, including:

First Degree

This refers to a planned, deliberate homicide. It is one of the most serious crimes you can commit under our state's laws. It is a Class A felony, meaning that it is punished by an automatic life sentence. If the judge or jury recognizes certain mitigating circumstances, such as extreme provocation, the sentence may be lowered to second degree murder.

Second Degree

This refers to a homicide that was not planned beforehand. It includes “crime of passion” murders, where one person commits an unplanned murder in a moment of intense emotional distress. It also covers unintentional deaths caused by reckless behavior. In most states, unintentional deaths are tried as a crime called “manslaughter,” but Wisconsin law does not use that term. This is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 60 years in prison.

Felony Murder

If someone is killed during the commission of a dangerous felony (burglary, rape, theft, robbery, arson, kidnapping, or carjacking), then the person who committed the felony will be charged with murder. It does not matter if he or she intended to kill anyone. The law does not acknowledge any mitigating circumstances for felony murder, and it can be punished by a life sentence.

Contact Us

If you have been accused of intentional homicide, you need an experienced Appleton criminal attorney to protect your rights. contact Appleton murder defense lawyers Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595.