Terms Used In Wisconsin Statutes 939.43

  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Minor: means a person who has not attained the age of 18 years, except that for purposes of investigating or prosecuting a person who is alleged to have violated a state or federal criminal law or any civil law or municipal ordinance, "minor" does not include a person who has attained the age of 17 years. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • State: when applied to states of the United States, includes the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the several territories organized by Congress. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
   (1)    An honest error, whether of fact or of law other than criminal law, is a defense if it negatives the existence of a state of mind essential to the crime.
   (2)   A mistake as to the age of a minor or as to the existence or constitutionality of the section under which the actor is prosecuted or the scope or meaning of the terms used in that section is not a defense.
939.43 Annotation The prosecution of an individual who relied on a governmental official’s statutorily required legal opinion would impose an unconscionable rigidity in the law. State v. Davis, 63 Wis. 2d 75, 216 N.W.2d 31 (1974).
939.43 Annotation Mistake is not a defense to criminal negligence. A defendant‘s subjective state of mind is not relevant to determining criminal negligence. State v. Lindvig, 205 Wis. 2d 100, 555 N.W.2d 197 (Ct. App. 1996), 96-0235.