The fact that the actor’s conduct is privileged, although otherwise criminal, is a defense to prosecution for any crime based on that conduct. The defense of privilege can be claimed under any of the following circumstances:

Terms Used In Wisconsin Statutes 939.45

  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
  • Following: when used by way of reference to any statute section, means the section next following that in which the reference is made. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Person: includes all partnerships, associations and bodies politic or corporate. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • Property: includes real and personal property. 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)   When the actor’s conduct occurs under circumstances of coercion or necessity so as to be privileged under s. 939.46 or 939.47; or
   (2)   When the actor’s conduct is in defense of persons or property under any of the circumstances described in s. 939.48 or 939.49; or
   (3)   When the actor’s conduct is in good faith and is an apparently authorized and reasonable fulfillment of any duties of a public office; or
   (4)   When the actor’s conduct is a reasonable accomplishment of a lawful arrest; or
      (a)    In this subsection:
         1.    “Child” has the meaning specified in s. 948.01 (1).
         3.    “Person responsible for the child’s welfare” includes the child’s parent, stepparent or guardian; an employee of a public or private residential home, institution or agency in which the child resides or is confined or that provides services to the child; or any other person legally responsible for the child’s welfare in a residential setting.
      (b)    When the actor’s conduct is reasonable discipline of a child by a person responsible for the child’s welfare. Reasonable discipline may involve only such force as a reasonable person believes is necessary. It is never reasonable discipline to use force which is intended to cause great bodily harm or death or creates an unreasonable risk of great bodily harm or death.
   (6)   When for any other reason the actor’s conduct is privileged by the statutory or common law of this state.