In Wisconsin, it is a crime for any person convicted of a felony to purchase or possess a firearm. The offense can be punishable by up to 10 years prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
How is Possession Defined in Wisconsin?
The charge of possession is defined in two ways in Wisconsin: 1) “Actual possession,” which means the felon knowingly had actual, physical control of a firearm, such as holding the firearm in his or her hand; and 2) “constructive possession,” which means the felon had access to the firearm, and the state can prove that the firearm was in an area over which the felon had control, and that the felon intended to exercise control over the firearm. Constructive possession can be established without the state even proving the felon ever touched the gun.
Can You Go to Jail for “Felon in Possession” if You Got a Felony Outside of Wisconsin?
The crime of illegal possession of a firearm in Wisconsin is not limited to individuals who are convicted of a felony offense. Wisconsin statutory law specifically prohibits a prohibited person from possessing a firearm. A prohibited person is:
- Anyone who has been convicted of a felony in the state of Wisconsin
- A person who has been convicted of a crime elsewhere if that crime would be a felony if committed in Wisconsin (even if it’s not in another state)
- Someone who has been adjudicated delinquent for an act committed on or after April 21, 1994, that would be considered a felony
- A person who been found not guilty of a felony in the state by reason of mental disease or defect (the law’s words, not ours)
- Someone who has been found not guilty of or not responsible for a crime elsewhere that would be a felony in Wisconsin by reason of insanity or mental disease, defect, or illness
What Kind of Sentence Could You Face for Felon in Possession in Wisconsin?
The minimum sentence for firearm possession by a felon in Wisconsin has a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison. The sentence could be divided into five years of initial confinement and five years supervision, and a $25,000 fine. If the person in question has been previously convicted of committing, soliciting, conspiring, or attempting to commit a felony, and convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon within five years after completing his or her sentence — including probation, parole, or extended supervision for previous felony or violent misdemeanor — then the mandatory sentence is three years of initial confinement.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Felon in Possession Charges?
If you’ve been accused of possessing a firearm as a felon – even “constructive possession” – we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 now for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.