Wisconsin: Castle Doctrine Bill Heard Today – Take Action!


Wisconsin State Senate Bill 129

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

Download Senate Bill 129

In general, a person who uses force in self−defense or in the defense of another person may not be convicted of a crime stemming from that use of force. This law applies only when: 1) the amount of force used is reasonable; and 2) the person uses that force to prevent or stop what he or she reasonably believes is an unlawful interference with himself or herself or another person, such as the crime of battery.

Current law specifies that a person may use force that is intended or likely to cause the death of or great bodily harm to another individual only if the person reasonably believes that using such force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another person.

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Under this bill, if a person used defensive force that was intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm, the court must presume that the person reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm if: 1) the individual against whom the force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering, or had already unlawfully and forcefully entered, the residence ofthe person who used the force; 2) the person was present in that residence; and 3) the person knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry was occurring or had occurred. This presumption, however, does not apply if: 1) the person who used the force was engaged in an unlawful activity or was using his orher residence to further an unlawful activity; or 2) the individual against whom the force was used had identified himself or herself as a peace officer (or was or should have been known to be a peace officer) and was entering the residence in the performance of his or her official duties.

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Note: The 5 committee members (Committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing) is comprised of 3 democrats and 2 republicans.

Lena Taylor (D-Chair)
(608) 266-5810

Jim Sullivan (D-Vice Chair)
(608) 266-2512

Jon Erpenbach (D)
(608) 266-6670

Glenn Grothman (R)
(608) 266-7513

Randy Hopper (R)
(608) 266-5300


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