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Wisconsin Mitigating Circumstances for Change to 2nd Degree Intentional Homicide

  • Birdsall Obear

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Under Wisconsin law, there are four mitigating circumstances, which are defenses that change a first-degree intentional homicide charge to a second-degree intentional homicide charge. These mitigating circumstances include adequate provocation, unnecessary defensive force, prevention of a felony and coercion/necessity.

Adequate provocation means the defendant was provoked by something that would cause a reasonable individual to lose self-control.

Unnecessary defensive force means the defendant believed they were in “imminent danger of death or great bodily harm” but neither of these beliefs were reasonable.

Prevention of a felony means the defendant believed the use of force was necessary to prevent the victim from committing a felony, but this belief proved unreasonable.

Coercion or necessity means the defendant was coerced into committing the crime, or they believed it was necessary to prevent a “public disaster” or “imminent death or great bodily harm”.  

If you face a first-degree intentional homicide charge, or any homicide charge, you are confronting a serious possible revocation of your freedom and rights.  When facing manslaughter charges such as first-degree intentional homicide, your murder case requires an aggressive, experienced team of criminal defense attorneys.