Are there Different Categories for Vehicular Homicide in Wisconsin? - Milwaukee Lawyers

By Tedia Gamino

Wisconsin is extremely strict when it comes to vehicular homicide. The law calls it homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, and the penalties are very harsh. The law refers to a person who “causes the death of another human being by the negligent operation or handling of a vehicle” or “whoever causes the death of an unborn child by the negligent operation of handling of a vehicle.”

Vehicular homicide is a Class G felony, but you could be subject to a different classification of crime under certain circumstances.

Vehicular Homicide While Drinking and Driving

If you commit vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could be subject to even more harsh penalties. The state can charge you with “homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle” if the prosecution can prove that you:

  • Operated a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant
  • Caused the victim’s death because you were operating a vehicle

In a case like this, you could be considered guilty of a Class F felony – and the penalty for this crime can be up to 12 years, 6 months of incarceration.

Other Examples of Homicide by Negligent Operation of a Vehicle

Causing the death of another person while you are negligently operating or handling a vehicle could include any number of incidents, including things such as running a red light or passing in a no-passing zone. The state could even charge you with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle if you fall asleep at the wheel.

Any time a driver causes an accident that results in death, he or she could be charged under this statute. This could include:

  • Passengers
  • Drivers
  • Passengers in other cars
  • Pedestrians

What to Do if You’re Charged with Homicide

If the state charges you with homicide, your future hangs in the balance. Most people find that it’s best to work with an experienced homicide lawyer who understands vehicular manslaughter laws in the state of Wisconsin.