Knife laws changed in 2015, and along with those changes came the creation of a law prohibiting carrying a concealed knife. Carrying a concealed knife is only illegal for individuals prohibited from possessing a firearm, as listed in section 941.29 of the Wisconsin Statutes. That list includes individuals convicted of felonies, subject to certain restraining orders and injunctions, or subject to various mental health commitments. This criminal charge is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that upon conviction, the maximum penalty the defendant faces is 9 months in jail, $10,000.00 in jail, or both. An unmodified Class A misdemeanor, on its own, cannot result in a sentence to prison. And importantly, probation is a potential result upon a conviction for this offense – no mandatory minimum penalty applies and a jail sentence is not required.
Criminal charges involving weapons can become serious quickly. At Van Severen Law Office, S.C., we believe that to achieve the best results, a defendant should hire the best criminal defense lawyer he can find. Thankfully, numerous organizations have repeatedly recognized some of our criminal defense lawyers as the best in Wisconsin. Our criminal defense attorneys focus 100% of their practices on criminal law, both defending people and keeping staying current on the law.
We’re available 24/7 at (414) 270-0202. And importantly, we offer free consultations to potential clients. During that consultation, we’ll have a chance to sit down and talk about your case. We can begin planning defenses and figure out how our firm can help. You’ll certainly have the time to ask questions and figure out if we’re a match. After all that, we’ll discuss how to move forward with representation from our firm.
Section 941.231 of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits carrying a concealed knife. The law says:
941.231. Carrying a concealed knife. Any person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under s. 941.29 who goes armed with a concealed knife that is a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
As we’ve already discussed, the individuals prohibited from possessing a firearm under 941.29 include felons, individuals found to be juvenile delinquents, individuals subject to mental health commitments, and individuals subject to restraining orders.
You’ll also notice that there is a condition listed in the statute: the knives must be dangerous weapons. The statute does not cover all knives (exempting the possession of things like work knives kept in a pocket) but instead focuses solely on those that are dangerous weapons. Section 939.22(10) of the Wisconsin Statutes is important to understand. It defines dangerous weapons:
(10) “Dangerous weapon” means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm; any ligature or other instrumentality used on the throat, neck, nose, or mouth of another person to impede, partially or completely, breathing or circulation of blood; any electric weapon, as defined in s. 941.295 (1c) (a); or any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
Knives designed “as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm” are dangerous weapons. This includes things like switchblades or butterfly knives, designed to be weapons.
Alternatively, dangerous weapons include knives that, depending on how they are used, can produce death or great bodily harm. This includes things like utility knives, but the circumstances show they’re intended to be weapons.
Jury instructions are more than simply instructions for juries. Instead, they’re helpful when discussing and understanding criminal charges throughout the state. Jury instructions break crimes down into elements. And elements are the parts of a crime that the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain a conviction. If the government cannot prove the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant cannot be found guilty of the crime.
Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1336 provides the elements of carrying a concealed knife:
The jury instructions provide a few important definitions, including “went armed,” “concealed,” and “great bodily harm.” All of these are important to better understanding the criminal charge.
Hiring the right criminal defense attorney is important when facing a criminal charge. If you’re a felon, you’ve already been through the system, and you know how valuable competent representation is. At Van Severen Law Office, S.C., various organizations continually recognize our criminal defense lawyers as some of the best in Wisconsin. Put together, those organizations and others consistently recognize our firm was one of the best in the state. You’re in good hands if you decide to work with our firm and our attorneys.
Secondly, we recognize that individuals are arrested 24/7, and that you want to quickly get in touch with an attorney. Our office is available 24/7, and when you call, you’ll reach a real human. While we certainly don’t have attorneys sitting in our office at 2:30a.m., we do have a dedicated answering service tasked with sending our attorneys important and time-sensitive messages.
Contact us at (414) 270-0202. Let’s figure out how we can work together and help you move through the criminal charges you’re facing.