Gun Crime Defense Representation in Waukesha and Kenosha Counties
The right to bear arms under the Second Amendment does not come without caveats and complications. The possession and use of firearms are heavily regulated under state and federal laws. In Wisconsin, both open carry and concealed carry are legal under certain conditions. Not knowing or understanding these conditions can result in weapon charges, which can lead to prison sentences, significant fines, and even the loss of your right to possess firearms.
If you are facing weapon charges of any kind, you will need an experienced legal professional to defend you at each stage of the legal process. At Lee Law Firm LLC., we know what is at stake in these cases and are committed to championing equal justice. Our Milwaukee gun crime lawyer is a former prosecutor who will work to protect your rights and build the best possible defense. We understand the stress and uncertainty you are likely experiencing in this difficult moment, and we will do everything we can to secure the favorable outcome you deserve.
Penalties for Gun Crimes in Wisconsin
A Wisconsin firearm crime will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the nature of the offense and other circumstances of the case. Someone is more likely to face felony charges if they have been previously convicted of a felony or is currently the subject of a restraining order.
Our Milwaukee gun crime attorney can assist you with many types of weapons charges, including:
- Concealed Carry Violations. Wisconsin firearm owners must first obtain a permit before they can legally carry a concealed weapon. Carrying a concealed firearm without a valid license is a misdemeanor offense that can result in up to 9 months of incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines. Someone can also violate Wisconsin’s concealed carry laws by unlawfully transporting a weapon, such as when a gun owner stores their firearm in their car’s glove box without a concealed carry permit.
- Endangering Safety. Firearm owners are legally obligated to safely handle and operate their weapons. A gun owner can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if their negligent handling of a dangerous weapon endangers someone else’s safety or in other situations described under Wisconsin Statutes. Endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon can be elevated to a Class F felony if someone discharges a weapon at another person or building. Penalties for a Class F felony include up to 12.5 years of imprisonment, up to $25,000 in fines, and a loss of firearm privileges.
- Felon in Possession. In the state of Wisconsin, it is a crime to possess a firearm if you are convicted of any felony, even if the offense has nothing to do with firearms. Felon in possession is charged as a Class G felony, and punishments include up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Using or Possessing a Firearm while Intoxicated. If you are caught firing or carrying a gun while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Potential penalties include up to 9 months of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Having a firearm-related conviction on your record may limit your ability to secure housing and employment opportunities, so you must make every effort to fight these serious charges. When you come to Lee Law Firm LLC. for help, we will carefully evaluate your situation, walk you through your legal options, and fervently defend you every step of the way. We place an emphasis on personable representation, and our Milwaukee gun crime lawyer will work closely with you throughout our handling of your case.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon is a class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin, punishable by up to 9 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
– While many believe that a firearm can be transported in the glove box or the center console of their vehicle, doing so results in a violation.
In State v. Fisher, 2006 WI 44, 290 Wis. 2d 121, 714 N.W.2d 495, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that only in extraordinary circumstances does an individual carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle demonstrate that his interest in the state constitutional right to keep and bear arms for security substantially outweighs the state’s interest in prohibiting that individual from carrying a concealed weapon in his motor vehicle. Therefore, the individual’s right to possess a firearm under the state and federal constitutions is not violated when the State prosecutes an individual for carrying such a firearm when it is concealed in their car.
However, the safe transport statute expressly permits the transportation of a firearm in a vehicle, so long as the firearm is either unloaded or is a handgun. Wis. Stat. § 167.31(2)(b)1. This statute provides that “no person may place, possess, or transport a firearm … in or on a vehicle, unless … The firearm is unloaded or is a handgun.”
In State v. Walls, 190 Wis. 2d 65, 526 N.W.2d 765 (Ct. App. 1994), the court recognized (but did not hold) that the transportation of a firearm in a vehicle when in compliance with the safe transport statute does not constitute “going armed” with a concealed weapon.
This means that conduct authorized by the safe transport statute, such as transporting a handgun, appears to be prohibited by the statute banning the carrying of a concealed weapon. This seems conflicting and raises a significant question as to whether the carrying a concealed weapon statute actually provides fair notice of its prohibitions to an ordinary person who transports a firearm inside a vehicle.
On March 13, 2017, in State v. Brian Grandberry, 2016AP173-CR (an accepted a Petition for Review by the Wisconsin Supreme Court) addressed this particular issue. Grandberry was charged with carrying a concealed weapon after police stopped the car he was driving and found a loaded pistol in the glove compartment. He argued that the state cannot prove that he was “going armed” with the gun because the safe transport statute permitted him to have a gun in the glove box. The court of appeals disagreed, holding that Grandberry needed a concealed carry permit in order to transport the gun. On April 10, 2018, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the appeals court decision. The Court found that the Concealed Carry Statute and Safe Transport Statute are not in conflict because Grandberry could have complied with both by either obtaining a license to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 175.60 or by placing his loaded handgun out of reach.
To lower the penalties for a carry concealed weapon charge, there are a number of variables taken into consideration. These include your criminal history, your character as well as the details of the case. It is critical to have a skilled attorney that understands your background and who is familiar with navigating the system. Your attorney at Lee Law Firm will advise you in this process and fervently fight for you whether your case goes to trial or the goal is to decrease your penalties.
At Lee Law Firm LLC., we are committed to walking with you in every step of the process. To build a defense, we conduct an individual consultation and review the facts of your case against the elements of the charges. With specific exceptions, a person is guilty of carrying a concealed weapon if he or she “goes armed with” a concealed and dangerous weapon. Wis. Stat. § 941.23(1)(ag). A person is guilty of carrying a concealed weapon in an automobile when the weapon is located inside a vehicle and is within the defendant’s reach; the defendant is aware of the presence of the weapon; and the weapon is concealed, or hidden from ordinary view. Consultations vary from case to case and meeting with you will allow us to build the best defense for your case.
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Peb hais lus Hmoob
Former Milwaukee Prosecutor
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