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Wisconsin Negligent Homicide Laws

Negligent homicide is defined by Wisconsin law as a criminal offense that is committed by a person whose negligence is the direct cause of another person's death.

Negligent homicide is sometimes incorrectly referred to as murder, unintentional homicide, or accidental homicide due to an unintended result or unintended victim.

Homicide by Negligent Operation of a Vehicle

Under Wisconsin statutes, if a person causes the death of another person or an unborn child by the negligent operation or handling of a vehicle, then that person may be charged criminally with committing homicide by the negligent operation of a vehicle, which is often referred to as vehicular homicide.

Wisconsin law provides that vehicular homicide is a Class G Felony (is punishable by a fine not to exceed $25,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 10 years, or both).

Also see Homicide by vehicle while drunk.

Homicide By Negligent Handling Of Dangerous Weapon, Explosives or Fire

Under Wisconsin laws, if a person causes the death of another person or an unborn child by the negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosive (or explosives), or fire, they can be charged with negligent homicide.

The criminal charge of homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire is a Class G Felony.

An air gun, a knife, or a bow and arrow is considered a dangerous weapon under this law.

Intentional -vs- Unintentional Homicide (See Reckless Homicide)

Wisconsin law does not provide for the crime of 'unintentional homicide', a homicide committed without intent is still a homicide, although it may be reckless or negligent. A negligent homicide may still have intent, but the intent may have been to do some other act. As well, the act intended may differ from the act that resulted and the person may still be charged with homicide.

Negligent Homicide by A Vicious Animal

Wisconsin statutes provide if a person owns an animal that he or she knows to be vicious, and intentionally allows that animal to roam freely or keeps the animal without ordinary care, and that animal kills a person who has taken all of the precautions permitted under the circumstances to avoid the animal while the animal is free or unconfined, then that animal's owner can be charged with negligent homicide.

The criminal charge of homicide resulting from the negligent control of a vicious animal is a Class G Felony (punishable by a fine not to exceed $25,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 10 years, or both).

An exception to the "known viciousness of an animal" rule exists where the animal is known or classified as a vicious or wild animal, such as would be the case if the animal were a tiger, snake or other typically non-domiciled animal.

Definitions of Legal Terms

Negligence

Negligence in law occurs when a person does not observe an obligation or duty where a legal obligation or duty exists or behaves in a manner lacking reasonable care. The law assumes that people will take a reasonable amount of care in all of their actions. Reasonable care is a degree of caution or care that a competent person in the same line of business, work, or activity should or is expected to exercise under similar circumstances. Negligence is then the lack of reasonable care and includes both actions with negligence and failure to act where a duty or obligation exists, and criminal negligence is a higher degree of negligence.

Criminal Negligence

Criminal negligence is negligence with a high probability of causing death, great bodily harm, or serious property damage.

Wisconsin Criminal Defense Lawyer: Attorney Mike Rudolph

If you are under investigation for a crime, or if you have already been arrested, please call (920-730-8533) Attorney Mike Rudolph right away.

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