Certain actions, even though they’re otherwise criminal, are statutorily privileged.  Alleging that specific conduct is privileged is a defense to prosecution.  Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 to begin discussing your criminal case and whether privilege applies.

Privilege is defined by section 939.45 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

The statute indicates that the defense of privilege can be claimed in the following circumstances:

(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;
Section 939.46 discusses coercion.  Section 939.47 discusses necessity.  Section 939.48 discusses self defense or defense of others.  Section 939.49 discusses defense of property.

This statute also protects parents who reasonably discipline their children.

939.46(6) starts off by defining “child” as that provided in s. 948.01.  Child “means a person who has not attained the age of 18 years, except that for purposes of prosecuting a person who is alleged to have violated a state or federal criminal law, “child” does not include a person who has attained the age of 17 years.”

Conduct is privileged “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.”


Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. to discuss privilege today.  Our criminal defense attorneys can be reached 24/7 at (414) 270-0202

The criminal defense experts at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. are focused on providing the best criminal defense in Wisconsin.  We dedicate 100% of our law firm’s resources to providing you with excellent defense to any criminal accusation.  If you have been charged with a crime, or have a question about privilege, contact us immediately.  Our firm can be reached 24/7 at (414) 270-0202.