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Forfeiture of Weapon, § 968.20(1m)(b) – Read-In Crime Suffices

State v. John L. Kueny, 2006 WI App 197, PFR filed 10/19/06
For Kueny: James R. Lucius

Issue: Whether the weapon must have been used in the crime of conviction in order to be subject to forfeiture.


¶11      Kueny misreads the plain language and misses a nuance of the statute. Wisconsin Stat. § 968.20(1m)(b) forbids returning weapons to one who “committed” a crime involving their use; it does not require that the defendant be convicted of that crime. Agreeing to a crime being read in at the time of sentencing constitutes an admission of having committed it. State v. Szarkowitz, 157 Wis. 2d 740, 753, 460 N.W.2d 819 (Ct. App. 1990).

¶13      The read-in charge, possession of dangerous weapons by one ordered not to possess a firearm, intrinsically involved the use of those dangerous weapons. Therefore, the two elements of (1) commission of a crime (2) involving the same dangerous weapons as those sought to be returned were satisfied.

Analogy drawn, ¶12, to Leonard L. Jones v. State, 226 Wis.2d 565, 594 N.W.2d 738 (1999), relative to holding that contraband need not be returned even if underlying charges were dismissed or never filed.


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