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Suppression of Evidence

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//June 24, 2024//

Suppression of Evidence

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//June 24, 2024//

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WI Court of Supreme Court

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Michael Gene Wiskowski

Case No.: 2021AP002105-CR

Officials:

Focus: Suppression of Evidence

The Wisconsin Supreme Court reviewed the case of Michael Gene Wiskowski, who was arrested after being found asleep in his truck in a McDonald’s drive-thru. Officer Devin Simon responded to a dispatch call, observed Wiskowski’s vehicle, and conducted a traffic stop despite no observed violations or signs of impairment. Wiskowski, who explained his fatigue was due to a long work shift, was detained further by Simon, eventually showing signs of intoxication upon being ordered out of his vehicle.

Wiskowski’s motion to suppress the evidence obtained during the stop was denied by the circuit court, which justified the stop under the “community caretaking function.” The Court of Appeals upheld this decision. However, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed the lower courts’ rulings, concluding that the stop was not supported by reasonable suspicion and that the detention exceeded the permissible scope of community caretaking once the initial concern was resolved. The court emphasized that any prolongation of a stop must be justified by a new, legitimate reason.

The case was remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion

Decided 06/18/24

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