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Disrupting a funeral or memorial service is against the law.  Contact our criminal defense attorneys at (414) 270-0202.

Firstly, disrupting a funeral or memorial service is a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin.  That charge carries a maximum penalty of 9 months in jail, $10,000.00 in fines, or both.   If the defendant has a prior conviction for this offense, subsequent charges are a Class I felony.  Class I felonies carry 3.5 years in prison, $10,000.00 in fines, or both.  These are certainly serious potential sentences.

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we defend individuals facing disrupting a funeral service charges.  We certainly recognize that everyone accused of committing a crime deserves a strong, skilled advocate working on his behalf.  Certainly we recognize that there are usually two sides to every story, and that law enforcement usually only listens to one of those sides.

Finally, our criminal defense attorneys focus 100% of their practice on just that: criminal defense.  Certainly we do that for a reason.  And that reason is that a criminal defense specialist is likely going to achieve a better result defending your criminal case than some sort of general practice attorney.  Criminal law can involve certain, hyper-focused and specific motion that don’t apply in other areas of law.  Contact one of our defense lawyers at (414) 270-0202.  Let’s set up an initial consultation and start fighting your charges.

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What is disrupting a funeral or memorial service?

Section 947.011(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits this offense.  The law provides:

(a) No person may do any of the following during a funeral or memorial service, during the 60 minutes immediately preceding the scheduled starting time of a funeral or memorial service if a starting time has been scheduled, or during the 60 minutes immediately following a funeral or memorial service:
1. Engage in [disorderly conduct] within 500 feet of any entrance to a facility being used for the service with the intent to disrupt the service.
2. Intentionally block access to a facility being used for the service.
(b) No person, with the intent to disrupt a funeral procession, may impede vehicles that he or she knows are part of the procession.
(c) No person may do any of the following during a funeral or memorial service, during the 60 minutes immediately preceding the scheduled starting time of a funeral or memorial service if a starting time has been scheduled, or during the 60 minutes immediately following a funeral or memorial service:
1. Engage in [disorderly conduct] within 500 feet of any entrance to a facility being used for the service.
2. Block access to a facility being used for the service.
(d) No person may impede vehicles that are part of a funeral procession if the [person is committing disorderly conduct].

What are the elements of this offense?

All crimes in Wisconsin break down into numerous parts.  We call those parts elements.  And finally, the government must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1901 provides the elements of disrupting a funeral or memorial service:

  • Firstly, the defendant engaged in violent, abuse, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, or otherwise disorderly conduct; and
  • Secondly, the conduct of the defendant, under the circumstances as they then existed, tended to cause or provoke a disturbance; and
  • Thirdly, the conduct of the defendant occurred during a funeral or memorial service, or during the 60 minutes immediately preceding the scheduled starting time of a funeral or memorial service, or during the 60 minutes immediately following a funeral or memorial service; and
  • Fourthly, the conduct of the defendant occurred within 500 feet of any entrance to a facility being used for the service; and
  • Finally, the defendant engaged in the conduct with the intent to disrupt the service.

The other version of this offense

The statute prohibiting this crime does not simply list one offense.  On the contrary, there are numerous versions of this crime in the statute.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1901A describes another version of this offense, disrupting a funeral or memorial service: impeding vehicles:

  • Firstly, the defendant impeded vehicles that he or she knew were part of a funeral procession; and
  • Secondly, the defendant impeded vehicles with intent to disrupt a funeral procession.
A funeral urn
Disrupting a funeral or memorial service is a potential felony charge. Contact our criminal defense lawyers at (414) 270-0202 for immediate help.

How do we defend my criminal charges?

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we certainly recognize that all criminal charges are different.  And all factual situations surrounding those charges are certainly also different.  That basic proposition makes one additional thing clear: a general web page describing a crime cannot adequately describe all potential defenses.

That being said, the first place we start is with the jury instructions.  Has the government alleged a violation of each element?  If not, they cannot sustain a conviction against you.  With disrupting a funeral charges, one of the important elements focuses on an act of disorderly conduct.  You can do something disorderly, but did that action tend to cause or provoke a disturbance?  If not, you haven’t committed a crime.

We’ll also look at your statement.  Importantly, we suggest you maintain your right to silence.  If the police arrested you, they’re not simply a suspect.  You’re the suspect.  That’s why they put you in handcuffs.  Your statement will not save you from that.  Instead, maintaining your right to silence allows your criminal defense attorney to start fighting your case from the best position.

Finally, contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. for the best criminal defense representation

The criminal defense lawyers at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. are specialists.  Our complete dedication to criminal law keeps us constantly current on the law.  It also allows us to focus our undivided attention on cases just like yours.  And that helps us achieve better results for all criminal defense clients.

If you’re charged with disrupting a funeral, you’re certainly facing a serious criminal charge.  There’s even a chance the media covered your story.  That adds a lot of stress to your life.

What helps decrease that stress?  An ally.  Someone who will fight for you.  To begin speaking with an ally, call us at (414) 270-0202.