Possession of an electric weapon is against the law and punishable as a felony in Wisconsin. Specifically, it’s a Class H charge, meaning that upon conviction the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 6 years in prison, $10,000.00 in fines, or both. This is an incredibly serious charge for a product easily obtained on websites such as Amazon. A variety of exceptions apply to this charge, allowing various individuals the opportunity to legally possess these weapons.
Van Severen Law Office, S.C. is consistently recognized as one of Wisconsin’s top criminal defense law firms. We regularly defend individuals facing charges involving weapons, including those involving possession of an electric weapon. We’re not a general practice law firm, and instead focus all of our work on defending individuals accused of violating Wisconsin laws. Our sole focus on criminal law allows us to stay on top of the developments that translate into results in your case.
Contact us immediately at (414) 270-0202 to set up a free consultation with any of our defense lawyers. We’re available 24/7.
Section 941.295 of the Wisconsin Statutes describes the law regarding possession of electric weapons. “Whoever sells, transports, manufactures, possesses, or goes armed with any electric weapon is guilty of a Class H felony.”
An “electric weapon” means any device which is designed, redesigned, used or intended to be used, offensively or defensively, to immobilize or incapacitate persons by the use of electric current. Wis. Stat. sec. 941.295(1c)(a). This includes commonly recognized electric weapons, such as tasers.
Finally, the statute provides various exceptions to the law. Individuals who may possess electric weapons include:
The law itself prohibiting possession of an electric weapon is straightforward. The exceptions to the law are more lengthy, but only a few apply to general civilians: individuals in possession of CCW permits and those on their own property. Again, it is illegal to possess a stun gun in public without a valid CCW permit. Without that permit, the device must be kept within the user’s home or business.
Jury instructions break crimes down into smaller parts, called elements. The government must prove each of the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt in order to sustain a conviction against the defendant. Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1344A provides the elements of this crime:
The definition of “possess” is that found in Wis JI-Criminal 920 and requires “actual physical control.” That instruction also contains the following optional paragraphs for use where the object is not in the physical possession of the defendant or where possession is shared with another: [An item is (also) in a person’s possession if it is in an area over which the person has control and the person intends to exercise control over the item.] [It is not required that a person own an item in order to possess it. What is required is that the person exercise control over the item.] [Possession may be shared with another person. If a person exercises control over an item, that item is in his possession, even though another person may also have similar control.]
If the government cannot prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant cannot be convicted of the crime.
Hiring a top criminal defense attorney is one of the best decisions a defendant can make when facing criminal charges. Not all criminal defense lawyers have the skills necessary to fight serious charges. At Van Severen Law Office, S.C., it’s all we do. Clients, prosecutors, and courts consistently recognize our firm and our criminal defense attorneys as some of the best in Wisconsin.
Importantly, we offer free consultations to potential clients. We believe that it’s important to be completely transparent about the fees we charge to provide criminal defense services to clients. If we can’t take your case, it doesn’t seem right to charge you for a consultation. That’s why we offer you the opportunity to come in for an hour and speak with one of our criminal defense attorneys. If we’re a match, we’ll discuss the fees moving forward.
And finally, we can’t help unless you give us a call. We answer phones 24/7 at (414) 270-0202. Call us now to get started.