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Man fights definition of disorderly conduct as a violent crime

A Wisconsin man who was prohibited from purchasing a gun is challenging the ruling in court, arguing that the nature of his offense should not prevent him from owning a firearm. The Wisconsin man, age 68, was convicted of disorderly conduct 14 years ago. That violation is considered a violent crime that disqualifies him from purchasing a firearm or holding a concealed weapon. The man is challenging the mandate after being denied in August.

Official reports show that the man was accused of the crime in 1999. He was arguing with his wife over several thousands of dollars in gambling debt. Authorities say that the man picked up a case that held a handgun, and he threatened to kill himself. He then menaced his wife when she attempted to intervene.

Ultimately, the defendant pleaded guilty and received a criminal conviction for disorderly conduct. He admitted to "armed and violent" conduct because the crime involved a dangerous weapon. Experts say that disorderly conduct convictions can stem from a variety of activities, but jurors are never required to determine whether the defendant is actually abusive or violent. However, in the plea agreement, the man signed documents confirming that he was admitting to a violent offense. A ruling is still pending in this case.

Defendants who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violent offense should not automatically lose their constitutional rights. These defendants deserve to have their rights protected by a Wisconsin attorney. Individuals who have violent crimes on their criminal records may benefit from consulting a criminal attorney in Wisconsin. These professionals may be able to answer questions about legal rights and options after a plea agreement.

Source: Journal Sentinel, "Greenfield man challenges law after he's denied gun, carry permit" Bruce Vielmetti, Mar. 03, 2014

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