South Dakota Supreme Court Finds Taser Is a Dangerous Weapon

Charles Huff
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Family Law and Criminal Law Attorney

Beau Dean Foote Sr. was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer. For these convictions, he claimed the evidence was insufficient because, in his view, a Taser is not a dangerous weapon and he did not attempt to use the Taser to cause serious bodily harm to either officer.

In State v. Foote, the South Dakota Supreme Court rejected Foote's claim and found that the Legislature has defined a dangerous weapon to be “any firearm, stun gun, knife, or device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which is calculated or designed to inflict death or serious bodily harm, or by the manner in which it is used is likely to inflict death or serious bodily harm[.]” From the language of the statute any stun gun is, by definition, a dangerous weapon, and a Taser is a type of stun gun.

Read the full decision by clicking here.

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