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If some one tells you they will kill themself and do? (read details) Wisconsin.

Neenah, WI |

If someone someone tells another person (a friend) that they are going to kill themself and they actually go through with it will that friend get in trouble for not saying anything?
& do they (police or whoever) look into it and see what was going on or do nothing?

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Attorney answers 1


If you are contemplating suicide and want to avoid hurting a friend, don't kill yourself and get yourself help instead. If you are a friend and you believe a friend is suicidal, do whatever is necessary to protect your friend in his/her time of need because he/she very likely is not thinking clearly and that's what friends do. If you are a friend who had warning of a friend's suicidality and the friend followed through, get counseling to help process what you have been through. As long as law enforcement doesn't think you were somehow responsible for bringing the friend to the point of despondency (i.e. tormenting someone so severely that the person thought suicide made sense in some twisted way), I can't imagine law enforcement would be interested in prosecuting you because what happened may very well haunt you the rest of your life. Other avvo attorneys, does Wisconsin have a good samaritan law which might be relevant? I have never heard of or seen a Wisconsin criminal law statute which would seem to apply here. If the disaster hasn't occurred yet, do what you can to avoid it, please.

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Charles S. Blumenfield

Charles S. Blumenfield


In Wisconsin one can be prosecuted for assisting suicide under §940.12 of the Wisconsin statutes, which reads: "Whoever with intent that another take his or her own life assists such person to commit suicide is guilty of a Class H felony." Under the facts as set forth in the question, knowledge that another has expressed suicidal ideation does not rise to the level of assisting such action so long as no affirmative act is done to encourage or assist in the suicide. If you know of someone who is talking about killing themself, by all means encourage that person to seek help. If you know of anyone assisting or planning to assist another in taking their life, urge that person to desist in any such conduct.

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