In Wisconsin, Endangering Safety with a Dangerous Weapon, is a Class A Misdemeanor. The term “Dangerous Weapon” extends far beyond firearms and Wisconsin Criminal Defense Lawyers have seen this charge in non-firearm related cases. This charge may not be a felony, but it is considered the highest-level Misdemeanor in Wisconsin.
How can you be found guilty of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon?
Whoever does any of the following can be found guilty of this Class A misdemeanor:
1. Endangers another’s safety by the negligent operation or handling of a dangerous weapon
2. Operates or goes armed with a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant
3. Intentionally points a firearm at or towards another
4. Discharges a firearm within 100 yards of any building devoted to another person
What constitutes a “Dangerous Weapon”?
When considering the term dangerous weapon, many people will assume it is limited to only a firearm. However, a dangerous weapon can be anything that can produce death or great bodily harm. Even if an item appears harmless, if someone utilizes it in a way that creates an unreasonable or substantial risk of harm, that can be considered a dangerous weapon. For example, driving a vehicle in a negligent way, brass knuckles, or even just a dinner fork, have all been considered a dangerous weapon in past cases. There are very vague guidelines on how to determine a dangerous weapon.
What are potential penalties for endangering safety with a dangerous weapon?
The consequences of a conviction for endangering safety with a dangerous weapon charge can vary on a case-by-case basis depending on the type of weapon used, the location of use, other variables, and whether you have a skilled attorney representing you. However, if you are convicted of endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, without any additional modifiers, you could be sentenced to serve up to 9 months in jail, ordered to pay up to $10,000 in fines, and be forced to give up possession of your weapon.
When should I call a Wisconsin Attorney?
While it is important to understand the basis of the weapon charge you may be facing and the penalties you may encounter, the consequences can change on a case-by-case basis. If you have been charged with possession of a deadly weapon, contact Levine Eisberner LLC at 608-621-2888 for a consultation today.