Intoxicated Possession of a Firearm Attorney in Madison
Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated: What You Need to Know
Did you know that even with a concealed carry permit, you can still get a ticket in certain situations? For instance, if you are pulled over for Operating While Intoxicated and your firearm is in the glovebox, you can be charged with being in possession of a firearm while intoxicated, even though you never touched your gun.
Under the Wisconsin concealed carry laws, there are very strict restrictions on carrying a weapon while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You may know it referred to as "intoxicated possession of a firearm." However, the actual charge is “Endangering Safety by Use of a Dangerous Weapon While Intoxicated,” Wisconsin Statute Section 941.20(1)(b).
In Wisconsin, intoxicated possession of a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties include:
- Maximum of nine months in jail;
- Maximum fine of $10,000;
- Or both
You may be asking yourself, "I never touched my firearm, how can they still charge me?"
You are only guilty if you are convicted™
How Gun Charges Get Paired with Drunk Driving
A common way to be charged with this is during an arrest for drunk driving. During the stop, you may have been polite and cooperative with the officer and warned them that you are a concealed carry permit holder and there is a firearm in the car. As a reward for your cooperation and honesty, you will likely be facing an additional charge that leaves you with the possibility of jail time.
Wisconsin’s “constructive possession” law means that if you are aware of the presence of the firearm and it is within reach or “lunging distance,” then by law it is considered the same as if you were touching it. Therefore, the firearm being in the glovebox or under the seat means you can be charged as though you were in possession of the firearm while intoxicated.
Madison Law and How It Plays Out
Law enforcement and prosecutors around the state have discretion in charging different crimes depending on the circumstances. Over the last few years, we have seen a number of District Attorney’s Offices charge more people criminally under these kinds of circumstances.
If you are charged with intoxicated possession of a firearm, it is critical that you hire a law firm that is experienced with handling these kind of cases. Grieve Law has a strong track record of fighting gun charges and winning. Hire a firm that has the knowledge to help get your charges reduced or dropped.
People Are Not Guilty Unless Proven Guilty
OWI Charge + Concealed Carry Violation
If you are driving drunk and get stopped by the police, you will be facing an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge. It is commonly referred to as a DUI or DWI. If you are in possession of a firearm, whether on your person or in the vehicle and you tell the officer there is no gun, you can be charged with obstruction of justice. Your only real hope of beating this charge is to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Disorderly Conduct (Armed with a Dangerous Weapon) Charges
Disorderly conduct can be somewhat of a catch-all charge for incidents that do not fall into an exact category. During your free initial consultation, you and one of our experienced Grieve Law attorneys will discuss the events that led to your charges and whether you were within your rights as a concealed carry permit holder.