Child victims and witnesses; rights and services.
Reimbursement for services.
Information and mediation services.
Crime victims rights board.
Confidentiality of complaints.
Limitation on liability; grounds for appeal.
Ch. 950 Cross-reference
See definitions in s. 939.22
Ch. 950 Cross-reference
See also ch. Jus 12
, Wis. adm. code.
In recognition of the civic and moral duty of victims and witnesses of crime to fully and voluntarily cooperate with law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies, and in further recognition of the continuing importance of such citizen cooperation to state and local law enforcement efforts and the general effectiveness and well-being of the criminal justice system of this state, the legislature declares its intent, in this chapter, to ensure that all victims and witnesses of crime are treated with dignity, respect, courtesy and sensitivity; and that the rights extended in this chapter to victims and witnesses of crime are honored and protected by law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and judges in a manner no less vigorous than the protections afforded criminal defendants. This chapter does not prohibit a public official, employee, or agency from sharing information with victim service organizations that are eligible to receive grants under s. 49.165 (2)
or 165.93 (2)
. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impair the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
The state did not breach a plea agreement when two police officers, one of whom the defendant shot during the execution of a search warrant, requested during the sentencing hearing that the sentencing court impose the maximum sentence. The police officers were not speaking to the court as investigating officers, but as victims of a crime. In Wisconsin, every crime victim has the right to make a statement to the court at the disposition. State v. Stewart, 2013 WI App 86
, 349 Wis. 2d 385
, 836 N.W.2d 456
Marsy's Law: Changes for Crime Victims? Donaldson, Rabe Mayer, Robson, Rufo, Sattler, & Shirley. Wis. Law. Sept. 2020.
In this chapter:
Except in sub. (3)
, “child" means a person who is less than 18 years of age.
“Crime" means an act committed in this state which, if committed by a competent adult, would constitute a crime, as defined in s. 939.12
“Custodial agency" means any person authorized to arrest or take into actual physical custody an individual who is alleged to have committed a crime. “Custodial agency" includes a law enforcement agency, a sheriff, superintendent or other keeper of a jail and a person authorized to take custody of a juvenile under s. 938.19
or 938.20 (4)
“Department" means the department of justice.
“District attorney" means any of the following:
The district attorney or other person authorized to prosecute a criminal case or a delinquency proceeding under ch. 938
A person designated by a person specified in par. (a)
to perform the district attorney's duties under this chapter.
“Family member" means spouse, minor child, adult child, sibling, parent, or legal guardian.
If the person specified in subd. 1.
is a child, a parent, guardian or legal custodian of the child.
If a person specified in subd. 1.
is physically or emotionally unable to exercise the rights granted under s. 950.04
or article I, section 9m, of the Wisconsin constitution, a person designated by the person specified in subd. 1.
or a family member of the person specified in subd. 1.
If a person specified in subd. 1.
is deceased, any of the following:
If a person specified in subd. 1.
has been adjudicated incompetent in this state, the guardian of the person appointed for him or her.
“Victim" does not include the person charged with or alleged to have committed the crime.
“Victim and witness office" means an organization or program that provides services for which the county receives reimbursement under this chapter.
“Witness" means any person who has been or is expected to be summoned to testify for the prosecution, or who by reason of having relevant information is subject to call or likely to be called as a witness for the prosecution, whether or not any action or proceeding has yet been commenced.
Eligibility of victims.
A victim has the rights and is eligible for the services under this chapter only if the crime has been reported to law enforcement authorities.
History: 1979 c. 219
; 1991 a. 159
Basic bill of rights for victims and witnesses. 950.04(1v)(1v)
Rights of victims.
Victims of crimes have the following rights:
To be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect for his or her privacy by public officials, employees, or agencies. This paragraph does not impair the right or duty of a public official or employee to conduct his or her official duties reasonably and in good faith.
To attend court proceedings in the case, subject to ss. 906.15
and 938.299 (1)
. The court may require the victim to exercise his or her right under this paragraph using telephone or live audiovisual means, if available, if the victim is under arrest, incarcerated, imprisoned or otherwise detained by any law enforcement agency or is admitted or committed on an inpatient basis to a treatment facility under ch. 51
, and the victim does not have a person specified in s. 950.02 (4) (a) 3.
to exercise the victim's right under this paragraph.
To be provided with appropriate intercession services to ensure that employers of victims will cooperate with the criminal justice process and the juvenile justice process in order to minimize an employee's loss of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearances.
To request an order for, and to be given the results of, testing to determine the presence of a communicable disease, as provided under ss. 938.296
To not be the subject of a law enforcement officer's or district attorney's order, request, or suggestion that he or she submit to a test using a lie detector, as defined in s. 111.37 (1) (b)
, if he or she claims to have been the victim of a sexual assault under s. 940.22 (2)
, 948.02 (1)
, or 948.085
, except as permitted under s. 968.265
To be informed about the process by which he or she may file a complaint under s. 968.02
or 968.26 (2)
and about the process of an inquest under s. 979.05
if he or she is the victim of an officer-involved death, as defined in s. 175.47 (1) (c)
To not have his or her personal identifiers, as defined in s. 85.103 (1)
and including an electronic mail address, used or disclosed by a public official, employee, or agency for a purpose that is unrelated to the official responsibilities of the official, employee, or agency.
To have his or her interests considered by the court in determining whether to exclude persons from a preliminary hearing, as provided under s. 970.03 (4)
To not be compelled to submit to a pretrial interview or deposition by a defendant or his or her attorney as provided under s. 971.23 (6c)
To have the parole commission make a reasonable attempt to notify the victim of applications for parole, as provided under s. 304.06 (1)
To have, at his or her request, the opportunity to consult with the prosecution in a case brought in a court of criminal jurisdiction, as provided under s. 971.095 (2)
To a speedy disposition of the case in which they are involved as a victim in order to minimize the length of time they must endure the stress of their responsibilities in connection with the matter.
To have direct input in the parole decision-making process, as provided by the rules promulgated under s. 304.06 (1) (em)
To attend a hearing on a petition for modification of a bifurcated sentence and provide a statement concerning modification of the bifurcated sentence, as provided under s. 302.113 (9g) (d)
To attend a hearing on a petition for modification of a term of probation under s. 973.09 (3) (d)
and provide a statement to the court concerning modification of the term of probation as provided under s. 973.09 (3m)
To have information concerning the impact of a delinquent act on the victim included in a court report under s. 938.33
and to have the person preparing the court report attempt to contact the victim, as provided under s. 938.331
To have the person preparing a presentence investigation under s. 972.15
make a reasonable attempt to contact the victim, as provided in s. 972.15 (2m)
, and to view the sentence recommendation and any victim information included on the presentence investigation report, as provided in s. 972.15 (4m)
Subject to the limits set forth in s. 972.15 (4r)
, to view portions of a presentence investigation report prepared under s. 972.15
that relate to the crime upon the victim.
To have the court provided with information pertaining to the economic, physical and psychological effect of the crime upon the victim and have the information considered by the court.
To have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously returned by law enforcement agencies when no longer needed as evidence, subject to s. 968.205
. If feasible, all such property, except weapons, currency, contraband, property subject to evidentiary analysis, property subject to preservation under s. 968.205
, and property the ownership of which is disputed, shall be returned to the person within 10 days of being taken.
To have district attorneys make a reasonable attempt to notify the victim under s. 971.17 (4m)
regarding conditional releases under s. 971.17
To have the department of corrections make a reasonable attempt to notify the victim under s. 301.046 (4)
regarding community residential confinements, under s. 301.048 (4m)
regarding participation in the intensive sanctions program, under s. 301.38
regarding escapes from a Type 1 prison, under s. 301.46 (3)
regarding persons registered under s. 301.45
, under s. 302.105
regarding release upon expiration of certain sentences, under s. 304.063
regarding extended supervision and parole releases, and under s. 938.51
regarding release or escape of a juvenile from correctional custody.
To have the appropriate clerk of court send the victim a copy of an inmate's petition for extended supervision and notification of the hearing on that petition under s. 302.114 (6)
To have the department of corrections make a reasonable attempt to notify the victim under s. 303.068 (4m)
regarding leave granted to qualified inmates under s. 303.068
To have the department of health services make a reasonable attempt to notify the victim under s. 980.11
regarding supervised release under s. 980.08
and discharge under s. 980.09 (4)
To have the appropriate clerk of court make a reasonable attempt to send the victim a copy of a motion made under s. 974.07 (2)
for postconviction deoxyribonucleic acid testing of certain evidence and notification of any hearing on that motion, as provided under s. 974.07 (4)
To have the governor make a reasonable attempt to notify the victim of a pardon application, as provided under s. 304.09 (2)