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2015 Laws of Wisconsin

Below is a list of new laws passed and enacted in the 2013-14 legislative session.  Please click on Act numbers for text of the new law.  For more information, please contact Legislative Liaison Adam Plotkin at or 608-264-8572.

2013 Wisconsin Act 42 - Criminal penalties for trafficking SNAP benefits 

Passed as Assembly Bill 82, creates 5 new crimes related to the trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.  The penalty for violation of these new provisions is contained in s. 49.795(8).  The new crimes are:

  1. Buys, sells, steals, or otherwise exchanges SNAP benefits issued and accessed through the electronic benefit transfer program, or manually, for cash or other consideration.

  2. Exchanges firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances for SNAP benefits.

  3. Uses SNAP benefits to purchase food that has a container deposit for the sole purpose of returning the container for a cash refund.

  4. Resells food purchased with SNAP benefits for cash or other consideration.

  5. Purchases, for cash or other consideration, food that was previously purchased from a supplier using SNAP benefits.

Act 42 applies to all offenses committed on or after July 23, 2013.

2013 Wisconsin Act 79 - Probation & Parole search powers to law enforcement


Passed as Senate Bill 40, allows law enforcement officers to search the person, residence, or any property of the person's control if they are on on probation, parole or extended supervision following any felony conviction or a violation of any provision within Chapters 940, 948, or 961.  


The search must be reasonable and cannot be arbitrary, capricious, or harassing.

Act 79 applies to persons released on probation, parole or extended supervision on or after December 14, 2013.

2013 Wisconsin Act 83 - Defines "hazardous inhalant" as an intoxicant


Passed as Assembly Bill 62, which adds "hazardous inhalant" to the definition of intoxicant.


Hazardous inhalant is defined as: "...a substance that is ingested, inhaled, or otherwise introduced into the human body in a manner that does not comply with any cautionary labeling that is required for the substance under s. 100.37 or under federal law, or in a manner that is not intended by the manufacturer of the substance, and that is intended to induce intoxication or elation, to stupefy the central nervous system, or to change the human audio, visual, or mental processes."

Act 83 applies to acts committed on or after December 14, 2013.

2013 Wisconsin Act 84 - Increased access to supervised release under Ch. 980


Passed as Assembly Bill 28, essentially makes supervised release more attainable while making the standards for discharge more difficult to meet.


Here is a brief summary of changes: 

  • Changes "significant progress in treatment" to a presumption that the individual is currently participating in treatment and demonstrating sustained changes (i.e., "'significant progress in treatment' means that the person has done is doing all of the following...")

  • Clarifies that a court must appoint an examiner for the 12 month reexamination.

  • Clarifies that a supervised release petition can only be filed 12 months after a court has considered and denied a previous petition.

  • Codifies the State v. West standard of the individual having the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that they meet the standards for supervised release.

  • Expands the list of activities for which an individual on supervised release may leave their residence.

  • Allows, rather than requires, the court to look at the totality of evidence when considering discharge.

  • Requires a court to consider supervised release after a discharge petition is denied.

Act 84 takes effect on December 14, 2013.

2013 Wisconsin Act 88 - School premises prohibition for sex offender registrants


Passed as Assembly Bill 11, prohibits an individual listed on the sex offender registry from being on school premises without notification to school administration.  A first offense violation is punishable as a misdemeanor with second and subsequent offenses charged as a Class H felony.


There are exceptions to the notification requirement for voting, a non-school sponsored event, and an individual who has a child enrolled at the school (though notification is required once at the beginning of each school year.)


There is also an affirmative defense clause to allow for the defendant who is travelling directly to the school administration office to give notification.

Act 88 takes effect on December 15, 2013.

2013 Wisconsin Act 89 - Criminalizes theft of telecommunications or video services

Passed as Assembly Bill 191, increases the penalty for theft of telecommunication or video service from a forfeiture to a Class C misdemeanor.  It also allows the court to award reasonable attorneys fees.

Act 89 is effective on December 15, 2013.

2013 Wisconsin Act 158 - Changes to Chapter 51 Commitment process

Passed as Assembly Bill 360, makes several changes to Chapter 51. The bill was the product of a Legislative Council study committee.


Section 6 (and elsewhere) of the act makes significant changes to the process and calculation of determining when liberty has been deprived for the purposes of the 72 hour probable cause hearing.

Act 158 is effective on March 29, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 164 - Jury size

Passed as Assembly Bill 560, removes the requirement that a misdemeanor jury shall be 6 people and replaces that with the ability to use a jury of 6 if all parties stipulate.

Act 164 is effective on March 29, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 194 - Immunity for possession of controlled substance

Passed as Assembly Bill 447, provides an immunity from prosecution for possession of a controlled substance for a person who summons emergency services for another person suffering from an overdose of a controlled substance.

Act 194 is effective on April 9, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 196 - Dosage based probation program


Passed as Assembly Bill 702, creates a statutorily expanded process of short term revocation sanctions for persons on probation, parole and extended supervision similar to what exists in current law for extended supervision only.


Act 196 was amended to add provisions creating a new felony crime for attempting to possess a schedule I or II controlled substance.

Act 196 applies to a violation which occurs after the effective date - Wednesday, April 9, 2014.  The Department of Corrections may require additional time to get the short terms sanctions program fully operational. 

2013 Wisconsin Act 200 - Immunity for administering Narcan 

Passed as Assembly Bill 446, provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for a person who administers an opioid antagonist (Narcan) to another person when there is reasonable belief that the person is suffering an opioid-related drug overdose.

Act 200 is effective on April 9, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 213 - Prohibition on the use of drones

Passed as Senate Bill 196, prohibits the use of drones by law enforcement to gather evidence or other information for a criminal investigation without first obtaining a search warrant.


Act 213 also creates a Class A misdemeanor for using a drone to photograph a person where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.  It also creates a Class H felony for operating a weaponized drone.

Act 213 is effective on April 10, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 214 - Changes to DNA at Arrest collection

Passed as Senate Bill 373, which was introduced as a bill regarding law enforcement training standards but was amended to make several changes to the DNA at arrest provisions originally placed in the2013 state budget.


Here are several of the key changes:

  • The crime lab must test the sample if, within a year, the court notifies DOJ that the person was: arrested under a warrant, that probable cause was found in a felony, the individual failed to appear at an initial appearance or a juvenile failed to appear at a delinquency proceeding.  If the court does not notify DOJ if one of those conditions is met within a year, the sample must be destroyed.

  • A new list of violent crimes which is more restrictive than the budget to which the collection statute applies.  

  • Changes the applicability of sample collection to crimes committed on and after April 1, 2015.

2013 Wisconsin Act 224 - Mandatory minimums for OWI 7th+

Passed as Assembly Bill 180, clarifies current statute to say that those convicted of Operating While Intoxicated 7th offense and above must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of initial confinement.

Act 224 applies to all offenses committed on or after April 10, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 226 - Medical & Public Assistance fraud crimes

Passed as Senate Bill 245, creates new crimes and criminal penalties based on the value of the payment or benefit associated with Medical Assistance and Public Assistance fraud.

Act 226 applies to all crimes committed on or after April 10, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 243 - Posting nude pictures on a website

Passed as Senate Bill 367, creates a new crime and Class A misdemeanor penalty for posting or publishing a private picture ("nude or partially nude") of someone in a public setting such as a website without that person's consent.


There are four exceptions: a parent or guardian posting a picture for non-commercial purposes, a law enforcement agent investigating a crime, a representation that is newsworthy or of public importance, an Internet provider.

Act 243 is effective on April 10, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 254 - Eliminates family exemption for harboring a fugitive

Passed as Assembly Bill 274, removes the current statutory exemption for immediate family from being charged with aiding a felon.


Act 254 also re-creates the penalty structure for aiding a felon.  It will now be a Class G felony for aiding an individual who committed a Class A, B, C, D, or other life sentence felony and a Class I felony for providing aid to someone who has committed any other felony crime.

Act 254 is effective on April 10, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 262 - Seizure of property in child enticement crime

Passed as Senate Bill 226, expands the ability for law enforcement to seize property that they have probable cause to believe was used in the commission of the crime of child enticement.

Act 262 applies to crimes committed on or after April 10, 2014.


2013 Wisconsin Act 267 - Decriminalizing cannabidiol


Passed as Assembly Bill 726, removes cannabidiol from the definition of a schedule I tetrahydrocannabinol.

Act 267 is effective on April 17, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 283 - Expanded notification and registry requirements for sex offender registry


Passed as Assembly Bill 441, makes changes to the notification and registry requirements for certain sex offenders.


Act 283 expands who must be placed on the sex offender registry to include sex offenses which were dismissed as part of a plea negotiation if the court orders that the person register.


Act 283 requires the creation of a publicly accessible website with information on SOR registrants including aliases and all addresses at which they will or may be residing.  It also places requirements on law enforcement to notify other law enforcement agencies if the registrant moves their residence to another jurisdiction.

The provision of Act 283 related to law enforcement providing notice of a change in residence takes effect April 18, 2014.  The remainder of Act 283 will take effect on June 1, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 293 - Local marijuana ordinances

Passed as Senate Bill 150, allows counties or municipalities to establish local ordinances prohibiting the possession of marijuana and allowing the county or municipality to prosecute a violation.  They may only do so if they have establish an ordinance and the district attorney has declined to prosecute a state charge.

Act 293 is effective on April 18, 2014.


2013 Wisconsin Act 307 - Eliminating voluntary intoxication defense

Passed as Assembly Bill 780, removes from statute the voluntary intoxication defense.

Act 307 is effective on April 18, 2014.


2013 Wisconsin Act 311 - Extended injunctions

Passed as Assembly Bill 707, allows a judge to extend and injunction for up to 10 years (5 years for a child abuse injunction) if, by a preponderance of the evidence, they believe there is a substantial risk that the person may commit against the victim first or second degree intentional homicide; first, second or third degree sexual assault; or first or second degree sexual assault of a child.


Act 311 applies to injunction issued on or after April 18, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 315 - Reimbursement for local jail costs

Passed as Assembly Bill 33, expands the ability for a jailer or county to seek reimbursement for costs associated with confinement in a jail and medical expenses.


Act 315 is effective on April 18, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 317 - Expanded strip search provisions

Passed as Assembly Bill 556, expands the ability of jailers to conduct strip searches of detained individuals.  In addition to current law (s. 968.255), persons arrested for any violation of state law or local ordinance and held for at least 12 hours may be visually strip searched prior to being moved into the general population of a jail.

Act 317 is effective on April 18, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 321 - Firearm surrender after injunction

Passed as Assembly Bill 464, creates a procedure for the subject of a domestic or child abuse injunction to be ordered to surrender any firearms.  The act essentially creates a stay of the injunction for 48 hours to allow the person to surrender their firearms to a sheriff prior to their being in violation of the order.

Act 321 applies to all petitions filed after November 1, 2014.


2013 Wisconsin Act 334 - Extended out-of-home placement

Passed as Senate Bill 451, is trailer legislation to the budget authorizing the extension of out-of-home placements for persons aged 18-21 who have an Individualized Education Program plan in place.


Act 334 is effective on August 1, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 337 - Waiver of counsel in a TPR


Passed as Senate Bill 504, allows a judge to waive the right to counsel in a termination of parental rights proceeding for respondent's failure to appear as ordered without a clear and justifiable excuse.  Counsel is allowed to appear in a motion to vacate or reconsider default judgment when that judgment has been entered as a result of a waiver based on failure to appear.


Act 337 provides a minimum two day delay between default judgment and entering of a dispositional order.


Act 337 applies to a parent who misses a hearing as ordered after the effective date - Thursday, April 23, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 338 - Victim viewing of PSI report

Passed as Assembly Bill 612, allows crime victims to view portions of a pre-sentence investigation report.  Specifically, the victim is allowed to see portions of the report related to the victim and any sentencing recommendation.  The victim is not allowed to keep a copy of the report and is required to keep the information confidential.

Act 338 is effective on April 23, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 340 - Ch. 51 three party petition changes


Passed as Assembly Bill 488, allows a person seeking a s. 51.20 involuntary commitment to insist that corporation counsel file the petition with a court. If corporation counsel does not feel that probable cause exists to initiate the commitment, they are allowed to appear in a limited capacity before the court without affirming that probable cause exists.


Act 340 requires that the court review the petition withing 24 hours excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

2013 Wisconsin Act 342 - SPD access to client/patient health records

Passed as Senate Bill 599, names an attorney provided by the State Public Defender as a "person authorized by the patient" to request medical records. This should allow SPD attorneys (staff and appointed) or their agents the ability to contact medical records companies directly and request records at the Medical Assistance reimbursement schedule listed in s. 146.83(3f).

Act 342 is effective on April 23, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 343 - Sex offender registry from out-of-state

Passed as Senate Bill 668, requires people who become residents of Wisconsin, employed in Wisconsin, or students in Wisconsin and who were convicted as a sex offender in another state to comply with sex offender registry and notification statutes in Wisconsin.

Act 343 is effective on April 23, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 351 - Definition of synthetic cannabinoid

Passed as Senate Bill 325, provides more precise statutory definition of a synthetic cannabinoid, a schedule I controlled substance.

Act 351 is effective on April 23, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 362 - Human trafficking crimes

Passed as Assembly Bill 620, makes various changes to human trafficking crimes.  Here is a general list of the most significant items:

  • Expands the definition of acts which constitute human trafficking

  • Increases the ability to keep victim information confidential

  • Limits the ability to charge crimes such as prostitution for victims

  • Expands the ability to expunge the record of someone convicted of a crime substantially related to human trafficking in which the person was a victim

Act 362 is effective on April 23, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 375 - Warrant to track wireless of mobile device

Passed as Assembly Bill 536, requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant to track the location of a wireless or mobile device.


The warrant application must include information related to the device to be tracked and the probable cause to believe criminal activity has been, is, or will take place.  The initial warrant is valid for 60 days with an unlimited number of 60 day extensions at the discretion of the court.  Exceptions to the warrant requirement exist for emergencies and instances where the customer or subscriber consent to the action.

Act 375 is effective on April 23, 2014.

2013 Wisconsin Act 376 - Out-of-county housing of prisoners

Passed as Senate Bill 648, allows counties to enter into contracts with each other and outside of Wisconsin to imprison county and municipal prisoners in a bordering county.

Act 376 is effective on April 23, 2014.


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