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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Conceal Carry Legislation Wisconsin Act 35 Effective Date: November 1st 2011

"He's got a gun. What should I do?"

As you may have heard, Governor Walker, unlike Governor Doyle, has recently signed legislation that would allow individuals to carry concealed weapons in a variety of locations. This has been a hotly debated topic for a long period of time, and even though it seems fairly simple, it's a complicated piece of legislation. Several issues must be discussed, and while I won't go into great detail in this article, I will address the following two questions: "What is a dangerous weapon?" and "What should a business owner do?" In addition, there are also elaborate procedures for individuals who wish to take advantage of this legislation and obtain a license to secure a dangerous weapon. This article will not address the specific procedures, as they are fairly self-explanatory under §175.60 Wis. Stats. A weapon is broadly defined to include a handgun, an electronic weapon (which we commonly refer to as tasers) or a knife or a switchblade. The procedure is spelled out in great detail regarding the courses the individual must take, the license the individual must obtain, and where the courses and licenses can be obtained.

Deadly Force Case

Recently, this firm was retained to represent an individual who, unfortunately, had to use deadly force and shot an intruder two times at his residence. The intruder suffered fatal wounds. The intruder had broken into a homeowner's garage (likely mistakenly believing that it allowed entry directly into the residence). The homeowner confronted the intruder and verbally indicated that he had a firearm, and the intruder verbally responded that he also had a firearm. This occurred in the early morning hours after bar closing time. It was later determined that the intruder was under the influence.

Upon the intruder's exit from the garage, the homeowner pointed a firearm at the intruder and instructed him to stop. The intruder then lunged at the homeowner. The intruder had a black object in his hand, which he previously indicated was a firearm. The homeowner fired twice, striking the intruder in the chest. As the intruder fell to the ground, the homeowner fired again, as the intruder still had an object in his hand. Later, it was determined that the object in the intruder's hand was his cellphone. Tragically, the intruder died at the scene. The homeowner was questioned and his firearm was seized. He then retained this firm to assist him in ensuring no criminal charges would be filed against him. The case was referred to the district attorney for review.

Emotional Abuse: A Crime? You Must Be Kidding!!

For many years, emotional abuse has often been present in domestic relationships, whether it be in the context of marriage or family relationships as they may concern parents and children or, possibly, as it concerns the care of an elderly relative. Emotional abuse may be difficult to determine, but is no less harmful than physical abuse. It is a very tangible injury that occurs to individuals who are often subjected to either many short-term incidents or a more gradual long-term series of incidents that can be verbal or physical in nature, or a combination thereof.

Wisconsin has recognized emotional abuse as a possible criminal act, and has codified it in the Wisconsin Statutes as it concerns the emotional abuse of a domestic partner, elderly individual or a family member – especially a child.

Actually, emotional or mental abuse has been a part of the Wisconsin statutory structure for a significant period of time. Wis. Stats. §813.125 "Harassment restraining orders and injunctions" defines "harassment" as "[E]ngaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts which harass or intimidate another person and which serve no legitimate purpose." This certainly would include emotional abuse.

DUI Task Force Blitzing Packer Fans

As the professional football season winds to a close, emotions begin to heighten as teams compete to make it to the final game of the season: the Super Bowl. Fans become wrapped up in the successes and failures of their teams. Green Bay Packer fans are some of the most diehard fans out there, and some Wisconsin police departments believe that a number of Packer fans will get carried away by their enthusiasm for their team and overindulge while watching the NFC division playoff game January 15, 2012. The Brown county OWI Task Force plans on targeting Lambeau Field for a sting operation to catch drunk drivers. Many Packer fans could find themselves facing OWI charges after the game if they are not careful.

Brown County OWI Task Force

The Brown County OWI Task Force is a multijurisdictional team made up of officers from six law enforcement agencies, operating under the auspices of the State Patrol and Bureau of Transportation Safety. A $96,000 federal grant funds the group, and this is the second year that the group has been in operation.

Florida v. Harris

Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States on February 19, 2013.

A recent decision by the United State Supreme Court offered clarification for defendants who wish to challenge probable cause obtained through use of a narcotics K9. After Harris' probable cause motion was denied by the circuit court, the Florida Supreme Court reversed and found lack of probable cause — setting forth strict guidelines for determining the reliability of narcotics K9s.

Defendant Harris was stopped by a Florida sheriff's deputy for expired plates. Approaching the vehicle the deputy noted that Harris was extremely nervous and had an open can of beer in the cup holder (interestingly, the open can of beer was not an issue in the discussion of probable cause to search the vehicle). Based on Harris' demeanor, the deputy retrieved his narcotics K9 from his vehicle. During a free air sniff, the K9 alerted on the driver's door handle. The deputy determined he had probable cause for a search of the vehicle and proceeded to search the truck. The search of the truck did not uncover any narcotics of which the K9 was trained to detect; however, the deputy did locate the ingredients for making methamphetamines. Harris challenged the search of his vehicle for lack of probable cause based on the K9's alert because no narcotics for which the K9 was trained to search were found in his truck. Harris further challenged the deputy's lack of records pertaining to false alerts by the K9. Harris did not challenge, or offer evidence to dispute, the K9's training and certifications.

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