Many individuals accused of one crime often find themselves facing other, unexpected charges. When a death is involved, reckless homicide can be one of those charges. You may ask: Is it justice to face multiple criminal charges for the same offense?
When you face confusing reckless homicide charges, it may seem like the legal system is set against you. At Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C., in Madison, we level the playing field. Our attorneys have spent years in the trenches, fighting for the underdogs. We are fearless trial attorneys, passionate about seeking justice and protecting your rights, your future, your freedom.
Reckless homicide charges are different from intentional homicide (murder) charges. To charge you with intentional homicide (first- or second-degree intentional homicide), prosecutors must be able to show that you intended to commit murder. This is not the case with reckless homicide. There are two degrees of reckless homicide charges:
“Utter disregard” and “recklessness” are difficult legal concepts that are confusing to many, including jurors. That’s why it is essential to work with an experienced trial lawyer who knows not only the law, but also how to present your story to jurors in a way that can help them understand your situation.
In Wisconsin, there has been an increase in reckless homicide charges against people who have supplied heroin (or another illegal drug) to someone who then overdosed and whose death was caused by the drug. That means the supplier can face reckless homicide charges in addition to drug trafficking/distribution charges.
In fact, anyone involved in supplying the drug to the individual who overdosed may face drug-related homicide charges. First-degree reckless homicide caused by the delivery or distribution of a controlled substance is a Class C felony.