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Unlawful Seizure – Reasonable Suspicion

WI Court of Appeals – District IV

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Marc Schiel

Case No.: 2019AP1110-CR

Officials: Fitzpatrick, P.J., Blanchard, and Nashold, JJ.

Focus: Unlawful Seizure – Reasonable Suspicion

The State appeals a circuit court order granting Marc Schiel’s motion to suppress evidence of Schiel’s intoxication on grounds that it was derived from an unlawful seizure, unsupported by reasonable suspicion. This case arises from a police-citizen encounter that occurred when Schiel was sitting in his idling vehicle in a parking lot. The State argues that the circuit court erred in concluding that Schiel was seized when a police officer parked his squad car at least a car’s length behind Schiel’s vehicle and, without activating his squad car’s emergency lights, approached the driver’s side window to speak with Schiel. Because we agree with the State that the officer’s actions did not constitute a seizure under controlling Wisconsin Supreme Court precedent, we reverse.

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Derek A Hawkins is trademark corporate counsel for Harley-Davidson. Hawkins oversees the prosecution and maintenance of the Harley-Davidson’s international trademark portfolio in emerging markets.

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