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Failure to withdraw from an unlawful assembly charges carry serious criminal penalties.  Contact our defense lawyers at (414) 270-0202.

Failure to withdraw from an unlawful assembly is a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin.  This aggravated felony charge carries with it a maximum penalty of 9 months in jail, $10,000.00 in fines, or both.  Certainly the fact that this is an aggravated misdemeanor indicates just how seriously the government considers these charges.  At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. our entire focus is on defending individuals charged with serious crimes.

The best way to counter an over-aggressive prosecutor is with an experienced, successful, firm criminal defense lawyer. You’ll find that with the entire staff at Meyer Van Severen, S.C.  From our youngest criminal defense associates, to our veteran partners, you’ll certainly find strong representation from our attorneys.  Contact us at (414) 270-0202 and let’s start fighting your criminal charges.

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What is failure to withdraw from an unlawful assembly?

The statute certainly isn’t very helpful with this one.  Section 947.06(3) of the Wisconsin Statutes provides the law:

(3) Whoever intentionally fails or refuses to withdraw from an unlawful assembly which the person knows has been ordered to disperse is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

But there’s a little bit missing here.  What are unlawful assemblies?

Sections 947.06(1)-(2) provide further, important definitions:

(1) Sheriffs, their undersheriffs and deputies, constables, marshals and police officers have a duty to suppress unlawful assemblies within their jurisdiction. For that reason they may order all persons who are part of an assembly to disperse. An “unlawful assembly” is an assembly which consists of 3 or more persons and which causes such a disturbance of public order that it is reasonable to believe that the assembly will cause injury to persons or damage to property unless it is immediately dispersed.
(2) An “unlawful assembly” includes an assembly of persons who assemble for the purpose of blocking or obstructing the lawful use by any other person, or persons of any private or public thoroughfares, property or of any positions of access or exit to or from any private or public building, or dwelling place, or any portion thereof and which assembly does in fact so block or obstruct the lawful use by any other person, or persons of any such private or public thoroughfares, property or any position of access or exit to or from any private or public building, or dwelling place, or any portion thereof.

What are the elements of this crime?

All crimes have elements, and failure to withdraw from an unlawful assembly is no different.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1930 provides the elements of this crime:

  • Firstly, there was an unlawful assembly; and
  • Secondly, the defendant was part of that assembly; and
  • Thirdly, the assembly was ordered to disperse by a police officer; and
  • Fourthly, the defendant knew that the assembly was ordered to disperse; and
  • Finally, the defendant intentionally failed or refused to withdraw from the unlawful assembly.

These elements certainly break the crime down into a format that’s easier to understand.  Unless the government can show that each of these five elements occurred, they cannot sustain a conviction against you.  For example, unless a police officer actually orders that the assembly be dispersed, they government should not succeed in convicting you.

A car burns during a riot
It’s impossible for us to determine whether an officer ordered this riot dispersed. But this certainly looks like failure to withdraw from an unlawful assembly. Contact our criminal defense lawyers for help with this or any other charge. (414) 270-0202.

How does Meyer Van Severen defend failure to withdraw from an unlawful assembly cases?

Certainly the first place we start defending a criminal case is the jury instructions.  Is there an element of the offense the government simply can’t prove against you?

For example, did you actually know that a police officer ordered the assembly dispersed?  This becomes an important questions depending on numerous factors.  If you arrived after the order from law enforcement, it’s impossible for you to know that the assembly was ordered dispersed.  Was law enforcement in another part of the crowd?  If you didn’t hear the warning, you couldn’t know that you were engaged in an unlawful assembly.

Secondly, was the assembly even unlawful?  Importantly, prosecutors must show that it was reasonable to believe that the assembly would cause injury to persons or property unless it was immediately dispersed.  If the assembly was simply an annoyance, the government cannot satisfy the element.

Finally, it’s nearly impossible for us to predict what your defense will be through an online, general website.  Call us.  We’ll set up an initial consultation and begin figuring out how to defend your case.

Contact our criminal defense lawyers for immediate help.

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. our criminal defense lawyers dedicate 100% of their practice to criminal defense.  This focused approach allows us to consistently achieve better results for our clients facing criminal charges.  If we split time focusing on some other area of law, it wouldn’t help you.  And what’s most important to us is you.  This is your life.

Contact our defense attorneys at (414) 270-0202.  We answer phone calls 24/7 and want to begin fighting your case.