Facing sabotage charges?  Contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 for help.

Not all treasonous acts are automatically federal criminal charges, and sabotage is one example.  While damaging military property will also likely lead to additional federal charges, sabotage is a crime punishable by the state.  Sabotage is a Class F felony, meaning that the maximum penalty upon conviction is 12.5 years in prison, $25,000.00 in fines, or both.  Felonies in Wisconsin are bifurcated, meaning they break down into separate terms of initial confinement and extended supervision.  In this case, the maximum term of initial confinement (time actually spent locked up) is 7.5 years, followed by a term of 5 years extended supervision (similar to probation).

Unfortunately, sabotage charges will also likely attract national media attention.  That attention will not be positive.  It’s important that you, your family, and your loved ones remain silent until an attorney is involved in the situation.  If necessary, together we’ll figure out a way to release information.  That being said, statements and apologies from the people around you usually will not help your case.

Contact Van Severen Law Office at (414) 270-0202 to connect with one of our criminal defense attorneys.  While this is likely the kind of case that a senior associate or partner will handle, if you have a specific attorney you’d like to consult with, we can make that happen. Initial consultations are free, and you can reach us 24/7.

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Section 946.02 of the Wisconsin Statutes – Sabotage

Section 946.02 of the Wisconsin Statutes is prohibits sabotage.  The states indicates:

(1) Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a Class F felony:
(a) Intentionally damages, interferes with, or tampers with any property with reasonable grounds to believe that his or her act will hinder, delay, or interfere with the prosecution of war or other military action or the preparation for defense, war, or other military action by the United States or its allies; or
(b) Intentionally makes a defective article or on inspection omits to note any defect in an article with reasonable grounds to believe that such article is intended to be used in the prosecution of war or other military action or the preparation for defense, war, or other military action by the United States or its allies.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair, curtail, or destroy the rights of employees and their representatives to self-organization, to form, join or assist labor organization, to strike, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, or to engage in lawful concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection under any state or federal statutes regulating labor relations.
While the statute is long, it’s simple.  Intentionally damaging, interfering with, or tampering with property involved in a military action is enough to satisfy this statute.  For example, damaging a barracks used to train troops would qualify.  In another example, vandalizing a personnel carrier or tank is enough.  Subsection (b) focuses on more passive conduct, prohibiting the production of defective items used in the war effort. Bullets are a great example.  Let’s assume a factory worker recognizes they’re producing bullets used in the war.  If that worker intentionally produces nonfunctional bullets, he violates the sabotage statute.

Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1705 – Sabotage

Courts in Wisconsin don’t simply read statutes and ask “did the defendant do it?”  Instead, the court presents to the jury various jury instructions that guide them through both procedural and substantive issues in the criminal justice system.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1705 is substantive, and provides the elements, or parts, of sabotage.  The elements of sabotage are as follows:

  • Firstly, the defendant intentionally damaged property;
    • Intentionally” means that the defendant acted with the mental purpose to damage property or was aware that his conduct was practically certain to cause that result.
  • Secondly, the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that his act would hinder, delay, or interfere with the preparation for defense by the United States.
    • Reasonable grounds to believe” means that a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have believed that his act would hinder, delay, or interfere with the preparation for defense by the United States.

These jury instructions only cover one version of this offense.  They don’t cover 946.02(1)(b) or even all of the possible ways to be charged under 946.02(1)(a).  For example, what if the military action is an attack, rather than preparing a defense?  In that situation, the court will likely modify the jury instructions involved to fit the relevant offense.

Bullets produced from a factory for the military
Sabotage can be as simple as intentionally manufacturing bullets (specifically those used for a military action) that do not function as intended. It can be as aggravated as blowing up a tank. Hiring a top criminal defense attorney is a great idea when facing charges like this.

Why should I hire a criminal defense attorney to help defend my sabotage case?

When you go on vacation, do you fly the plane yourself?  Assuming you aren’t a pilot, of course you don’t.  Flying an airplane requires complex knowledge and is certainly dangerous without proper education, training, and experience.  The same goes for practicing criminal law.  The law is is complex, and handling your own case could lead to disaster.  Importantly, screwing up your case doesn’t always lead to an appeal and does not frequently result in a “do over.”

We also think these principles apply to some of the less experienced, lazy, or greedy criminal defense attorneys outside of our firm.  We don’t hire attorneys that exhibit any of these traits.  While hiring a bad attorney could result in a good result, we just think it’s a bad idea.  It’s a gamble.

Helping defendants facing criminal charges in Wisconsin is all our law firm does.  We keep up on the constant updates in the law and apply those change in ways that benefit our clients the most.  Whether it’s challenging illegal, unconstitutional police and prosecutor conduct, or fighting your case in front of a jury, we’re prepared.

Van Severen Law Office, S.C. is a top Wisconsin criminal defense law firm.  Call us for help: (414) 270-0202

Facing serious criminal charges can be a scary situation.  It can also be a little confusing.  How do you know who to hire to represent you?  At Van Severen Law Office, S.C., we’ve won cases for hundreds of our clients.  Many of our 5-star reviews on Google reflect these results.  We’re confident representing individuals throughout Wisconsin facing the most serious criminal charges.

The next step is an important one.  Call us.  Initial consultations with any of our criminal defense attorneys are completely free.  During that consultation we’ll answer your preliminary questions and begin figuring out a basic defense to the charges you’re facing.  You can reach us 24/7 at (414) 270-0202.

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