2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 946. Crimes against government and its administration.
946.41 Resisting or obstructing officer.

946.41

946.41 Resisting or obstructing officer.

946.41(1)

(1) Except as provided in subs. (2m) and (2r), whoever knowingly resists or obstructs an officer while such officer is doing any act in an official capacity and with lawful authority is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

946.41(2)

(2) In this section:

946.41(2)(a)

(a) "Obstructs" includes without limitation knowingly giving false information to the officer or knowingly placing physical evidence with intent to mislead the officer in the performance of his or her duty including the service of any summons or civil process.

946.41(2)(b)

(b) "Officer" means a peace officer or other public officer or public employee having the authority by virtue of the officer's or employee's office or employment to take another into custody.

946.41(2m)

(2m) Whoever violates sub. (1) under all of the following circumstances is guilty of a Class H felony:

946.41(2m)(a)

(a) The violator gives false information or places physical evidence with intent to mislead an officer.

946.41(2m)(b)

(b) At a criminal trial, the trier of fact considers the false information or physical evidence.

946.41(2m)(c)

(c) The trial results in the conviction of an innocent person.

946.41(2r)

(2r) Whoever violates sub. (1) and causes substantial bodily harm to an officer is guilty of a Class H felony.

946.41(3)

(3) Whoever by violating this section hinders, delays or prevents an officer from properly serving or executing any summons or civil process, is civilly liable to the person injured for any actual loss caused thereby and to the officer or the officer's superior for any damages adjudged against either of them by reason thereof.

946.41 - ANNOT.

History: 1977 c. 173; 1983 a. 189; 1989 a. 121; 1993 a. 486; 2001 a. 109; 2009 a. 251.

946.41 - ANNOT.

The state must prove that the accused knew that the officer was acting in an official capacity and knew that the officer was acting with lawful authority when the accused allegedly resisted or obstructed the officer. State v. Lossman, 118 Wis. 2d 526, 348 N.W.2d 159 (1984).

946.41 - ANNOT.

Knowingly providing false information with intent to mislead is obstruction as a matter of law. State v. Caldwell, 154 Wis. 2d 683, 454 N.W.2d 13 (Ct. App. 1990).

946.41 - ANNOT.

No law allows officers to arrest for obstruction on a person's refusal to give his or her name. Mere silence is insufficient to constitute obstruction. Henes v. Morrissey, 194 Wis. 2d 339, 533 N.W.2d 802 (1995).

946.41 - ANNOT.

Fleeing and hiding from an officer may constitute obstructing. State v. Grobstick, 200 Wis. 2d 242, 546 N.W.2d 494 (1996), 94-1045.

946.41 - ANNOT.

There is no exculpatory denial exception under this section. The statute criminalizes all false statements knowingly made and with intent to mislead the police. The state should have sound reasons for believing that a defendant knowingly made false statements with intent to mislead the police and not out of a good-faith attempt to defend against accusations of a crime. The latter can never include the former. State v. Reed, 2005 WI 53, 280 Wis. 2d 68, 695 N.W.2d 315, 03-1781.

946.41 - ANNOT.

"Lawful authority," as that term is used in sub. (1), requires that police conduct be in compliance with both the federal and state constitutions, in addition to any applicable statutes. State v. Ferguson, 2009 WI 50, 317 Wis. 2d 586, 767 N.W.2d 187, 07-2095.

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