Threat to a prosecutor charges in Wisconsin are serious felonies.  Contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. immediately for help.

Threat to a prosecutor charges in Wisconsin are incredibly serious and are classified as a Class H felony.  A Class H felony is a charge punishable by a maximum of 6 years in prison, $10,000.00 fines, or both.  Importantly, there is no minimum penalty associated with this charge.  Because of the nature of this offense, and the fact that the prosecutor on your case will be acting to protect “one of his own,” it’s important to hire a top criminal defense attorney when fighting this charge.

At Van Severen Law Office, S.C., you’ll meet some of Wisconsin’s top criminal defense attorneys.  All of the attorneys at the firm dedicate themselves 100% to criminal defense.  That translates into something important for clients: we’re knowledgeable as to constantly changing criminal law, and we’re prepared to address the issues you’ll likely face in your case.

Finally, our firm doesn’t believe in charging you for “maybe” taking your case.  We offer free, one hour consultations to potential clients.  At that consultation you’ll have the chance to sit down with one of our criminal defense attorneys to discuss your case.  Contact us immediately at (414) 270-0202 to schedule a consultation.

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Threat to a prosecutor: what is it?  Section 940.203(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes

The Wisconsin Statutes define crimes throughout the state.  Section 940.203(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes deals specifically with threatening a prosecutor.  The law says:

(2) Whoever intentionally causes bodily harm or threatens to cause bodily harm to the person or family member of any … prosecutor … under all of the following circumstances is guilty of a Class H felony:
(a) At the time of the act or threat, the actor knows or should have known that the victim is a … prosecutor … or a member of the … prosecutor’s … family.
(b) The act or threat is in response to any action taken by a judge, prosecutor, or law enforcement officer in an official capacity.
(c) There is no consent by the person harmed or threatened.
You’ll quickly notice this statute number is familiar.  Section 940.203(2) also prohibits battery to a law enforcement officer, threats to a law enforcement officer, battery to a prosecutor, battery to a judge, and threats to a judge.  The only thing differentiating these charges is the victim involved and whether the charge is simply a threat or actual battery.
Similar to those statutes, you’ll quickly notice a few things.  Firstly, the defendant must know that the victim is a prosecutor.  Unless the defendant is aware of this fact, this charge does not apply.  Instead, something like misdemeanor battery, aggravated battery, or substantial battery applies.  For example, let’s consider a bar fight.  If the defendant engages in a fight with an individual, and that individual happens to be a prosecutor, but the defendant does not know, this charge doesn’t apply.
Secondly, the battery must occur in response to an action taken by the prosecutor.  While the statute seems to suggest that this threat can be in response to any prosecutor, law enforcement officer, or judge, the jury instructions (discussed next) clear this up.  The defendant’s threat must be in response to an action the victim in the case took.

Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1240D

As with the statute, threat to a prosecutor charges share a jury instruction with threatening a law enforcement officer charges.  Jury instructions break down criminal offenses into individual parts, also known as elements.  The government must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt in order to sustain a conviction against the defendant.  Defense attorneys sometimes use jury instructions to figure out how to defend a case.  And perhaps most importantly, courts read jury instructions to juries during trial.

Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1240D requires:

  • Firstly, the defendant threatened to cause bodily harm to the victim.  A threat is an expression of intention to do harm and may be communicated orally, in writing, or by conduct.  This element requires that the threat be true.  A true threat is one that means a reasonable person making the threat would foresee that the person receiving it would interpret it as a serious expression of intent to do harm.  The defendant need not have the ability to actually carry out the threat.
    • Bodily harm means physical pain or injury, illness, or impairment of physical condition.
  • Secondly, the victim was a prosecutor or family member of a prosecutor.
  • Thirdly, the defendant knew the victim was a prosecutor.
  • Fourthly, the threat was made in response to an action taken in the prosecutor’s official capacity.  Prosecutors act in an official capacity when they perform duties that they are employed to perform.
  • Next, the defendant threatened to cause bodily harm to the victim without consent.
  • And finally, the defendant acted intentionally.

How can a criminal defense law firm help fight against threatening a prosecutor charges?

It’s important to remember that every case is different.  That’s one of the reasons we offer free consultations to potential clients.  But it’s also important to remember that a general page on a websites discussing a criminal charge can’t address all the possible scenarios you’ll encounter in your case.
The first step our criminal defense attorneys will likely take is to review your case for potential motions.  A motion requests that the court take some sort of action.  In cases involving false confessions, or illegally obtained confessions, sometimes that request is for the statement to be completely excluded from trial.  Motions can be powerful.  In the case of the illegally obtained confession, if that is the only evidence against the defendant, the prosecution may be forced to dismiss charges.  Other motions we frequently file include motions challenging search warrants and motions challenging the stop or arrest of a drunk driver.
Moving ahead to the end of the case, you have a right to jury trial.  Some clients proceed to trial based on actual innocence.  Others proceed to trial because they don’t believe the government can prove its case.  You don’t need a reason to proceed to trial, and our criminal defense attorneys will always be prepared to fight at this level.

Contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. for a free consultation: (414) 270-0202

Van Severen Law Office, S.C. is a law firm focused entirely on defending individuals accused of committing crimes throughout Wisconsin.  This includes serious charges like threatening a prosecutor.  It always includes defending individuals accused of felonies throughout the state.

As we’ve previously discussed, we offer free consultations to potential clients.  Contact us immediately at (414) 270-0202, and let’s sit down to discuss your case.

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