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Community Caretaker Doctrine

State v. Jason L. Sedahl, 2010AP1097-CR, District 3, 10/5/10

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Sedahl: William A. Schembera; BiC; Resp.

The trial court erred in dismissing a pending charge on the theory that the charge (OWI) resulted from police failure to perform their community caretaker function (preventing him from driving):

¶12      …  No Wisconsin case holds that the doctrine places an affirmative duty on police to intercede and take a person into preventative detention prior to the commission of a crime.  No Wisconsin case authorizes the dismissal of criminal charges based on law enforcement officers’ failure to perform community caretaker functions.  Sedahl has attempted to create a defense where none exists.  There is no legal authority for the trial court’s use of the community caretaker doctrine to dismiss the charges against Sedahl.

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