Possession of armor piercing bullets while committing a crime is a felony in Wisconsin.  Contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. for help: (414) 270-0202.

Sometimes it’s the circumstances surrounding an incident that lead to more criminal liability.  This includes drunk driving accidents aggravated by the fact someone sustained an injury.  In sexual assault cases, those circumstances can be the age of the victim.  But in this situation, it’s armor piercing bullets.

We’re here to discuss a crime called possession of armor-piercing bullets while committing a crime, which is a Class H felony in Wisconsin.  Class H felonies are serious, carrying a potential maximum penalty of six years prison, $10,000.00 in fines, or both.  That 6 year prison term breaks down into maximums of 3 years initial confinement (time in prison) and 3 years extended supervision (similar to probation).  There’s no mandatory minimum penalty that applies to this charge.  So while prison is certainly a possibility if you’re convicted of this offense, it’s not a sentencing requirement.

At Van Severen Law Office, S.C., we regularly represent individuals facing criminal charges involving firearms.  These charges are serious, but so is our staff: the criminal defense lawyers at our firm are consistently recognized as some of the best in Wisconsin.  We think that hiring a criminal defense attorney, like one you’ll find at our firm, is important when facing any criminal charges.

Contact us at (414) 270-0202 to discuss your case with one of our criminal defense lawyers.  We’re available 24/7 and offer free consultations to potential clients.

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What is use or possession of a handgun and an armor piercing round during crime?

Section 941.296 of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits individuals from possessing armor-piercing ammunition while committing crimes.  Section 941.296(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes says:

(2) Whoever uses or possesses a handgun during the commission of a crime under chs. 939 to 948 or 961 is guilty of a Class H felony under any of the following circumstances.
(a) The handgun is loaded with an armor-piercing bullet or a projectile or projectile core that may be fired from the handgun with a muzzle velocity of 1,500 feet per second or greater.
(b) The person possesses an armor-piercing bullet capable of being fired from the handgun.

You’ll quickly notice that armor-piercing bullets aren’t the only thing this statute prohibits.  Additionally, bullets that can be fired from a handgun with a muzzle velocity of 1,500 feet per second or greater.  The term armor-piercing refers to bullets designed to penetrate ballistic armor and protective shield intended to stop or deflect conventional bullets.  Increased velocity, along with bullet design are both important factors with regard to armor penetration.  Armor-piercing bullets typically contain a hardened steel, tungsten, or tungsten carbide penetrator encased within a copper or cupronickel jacket, similar to the jackets surrounding lead in conventional projectiles.

What about the jury instructions?

But, if you’re familiar with our website, you know that we regularly discuss the jury instructions associated with criminal charges.  Jury instructions are helpful tools because they break crimes down into separate parts, called elements.  Those elements are what the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt during a prosecution.  If they cannot succeed in doing that, you cannot be found guilty of the crime.

The  Wisconsin Jury Instructions Committee of the Wisconsin Judicial conference currently does not have jury instructions for this offense.  So here’s what they might look like:

  • Firstly, the defendant used a handgun during the commission of a crime; and
  • Secondly, the handgun the defendant used during the commission of the crime was loaded with armor-piercing ammunition; and
  • Thirdly, the defendant knew the ammunition was armor piercing.

Due to the fact that the jury instructions aren’t already drafted, it’s the responsibility of the court, with input from the defense attorney and the prosecutor, to determine the appropriate instructions.  The three we described are a guess, and may differ slightly in actual practice.


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What should I do now?

Van Severen Law Office isn’t full of general practice lawyers.  We’re all criminal defense attorneys and we’re equipped to defend your criminal case.  We believe it’s especially important when facing serious charges that you hire attorneys who specialize in criminal defense.  Possession of a handgun and an armor piercing round during crime is certainly a serious offense.

At your initial consultation, you’ll meet with one of the criminal defense lawyers at Van Severen Law Office  At that point we’ll discuss possible defenses to your case.  Are there pre-trial motions we can file?  For example, did police use a search warrant in your case?  And is there a basis for us to challenge the validity of that search warrant?  At your initial consult we’ll certainly begin discussing those issues.

And importantly, you have a right to jury trial in criminal cases.  Charges for armor-piercing rounds are no exception.  If we determine jury trial is an appropriate route to follow, we’ll go that route.  It’s important to remember that you’re not guilty until the government proves it.  And if they can’t prove it, you’re not guilty.

Police seize a firearm and armor piercing rounds.
Possession of armor piercing bullets while committing a crime is a serious felony. Contact a top criminal defense attorney at (414) 270-0202.

Contact the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers at Van Severen Law Office

Since possession of armor piercing bullets is only a criminal charge if the ammunition is possessed during the commission of another crime, it’s safe to assume that you’re looking at two criminal charges.  Two criminal charges is a lot more serious than one, especially if they’re both felonies.  You could easily be looking at more than a decade worth of potential criminal penalties.  With that amount of time available for a sentence, does it make sense to hire the cheapest criminal defense lawyer in town?  Or the best one?

Various organizations consistently recognize Van Severen Law Office, S.C. as one of the best criminal defense law firms in Wisconsin.  We’ve earned that reputation by fighting for clients facing serious, high-level felony cases throughout the state.  Frequently these charges involve firearms.  Clients who have faced decades worth of potential time in prison have walked away free after retaining our firm and fighting their cases with us.

Importantly, if you’re worried about the best way to counter lying cops and overzealous prosecutors, we think that it’s hiring a top criminal defense lawyer.  We’ve been through these scenarios.  We’ve dealt with prosecutors who hide evidence and cops who can’t seem to tell the truth.  Our firm is available 24/7 to begin talking about your case.  Contact us at (414) 270-0202 and let’s figure out what we can do together.

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