2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 943. Crimes against property.
943.455 Theft of commercial mobile service.

943.455

943.455 Theft of commercial mobile service.

943.455(1)

(1) Definitions. In this section:

943.455(1)(a)

(a) "Commercial mobile service" means commercial mobile service, as defined in s. 196.01 (2i), that is provided by a company for payment.

943.455(1)(b)

(b) "Company" means a commercial mobile radio service provider, as defined in s. 196.01 (2g).

943.455(2)

(2) Prohibitions. No person may intentionally do any of the following:

943.455(2)(a)

(a) Obtain or attempt to obtain commercial mobile service from a company by trick, artifice, deception, use of an illegal device or other fraudulent means with the intent to deprive that company of any or all lawful compensation for rendering each type of service obtained. The intent required for a violation of this paragraph may be inferred from the presence on the property and in the actual possession of the defendant of a device not authorized by the company, the major purpose of which is to permit reception of commercial mobile services without payment. This inference is rebutted if the defendant demonstrates that he or she purchased that device for a legitimate use.

943.455(2)(b)

(b) Give technical assistance or instruction to any person in obtaining or attempting to obtain any commercial mobile service without payment of all lawful compensation to the company providing that service. This paragraph does not apply if the defendant demonstrates that the technical assistance or instruction was given for a legitimate purpose.

943.455(2)(c)

(c) Maintain an ability to connect, whether physical, electronic, by radio wave or by other means, with any facilities, components or other devices used for the transmission of commercial mobile services for the purpose of obtaining commercial mobile service without payment of all lawful compensation to the company providing that service. The intent required for a violation of this paragraph may be inferred from proof that the commercial mobile service to the defendant was authorized under a service agreement with the defendant and has been terminated by the company and that thereafter there exists in fact an ability to connect to the company's commercial mobile service system.

943.455(2)(d)

(d) Make or maintain any modification or alteration to any device installed with the authorization of a company for the purpose of obtaining any service offered by that company which that person is not authorized by that company to obtain. The intent required for a violation of this paragraph may be inferred from proof that, as a matter of standard procedure, the company places written warning labels on its telecommunications devices explaining that tampering with the device is a violation of law and the device is found to have been tampered with, altered or modified so as to allow the reception of services offered by the company without authority to do so.

943.455(2)(e)

(e) Possess without authority any device designed to receive from a company any services offered for sale by that company, whether or not the services are encoded, filtered, scrambled or otherwise made unintelligible, or designed to perform or facilitate the performance of any of the acts under pars. (a) to (d) with the intent that that device be used to receive that company's services without payment. Intent to violate this paragraph for direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain may be inferred from proof of the existence on the property and in the actual possession of the defendant of a device if the totality of circumstances, including quantities or volumes, indicates possession for resale.

943.455(2)(f)

(f) Manufacture, import into this state, distribute, publish, advertise, sell, lease or offer for sale or lease any device or any plan or kit for a device designed to receive commercial mobile services offered for sale by a company, whether or not the services are encoded, filtered, scrambled or otherwise made unintelligible, with the intent that that device, plan or kit be used for obtaining a company's services without payment. The intent required for a violation of this paragraph may be inferred from proof that the defendant has sold, leased or offered for sale or lease any device, plan or kit for a device in violation of this paragraph and during the course of the transaction for sale or lease the defendant expressly states or implies to the buyer that the product will enable the buyer to obtain commercial mobile service without charge.

943.455(4)

(4) Penalties. The following penalties apply for violations of this section:

943.455(4)(a)

(a) Except as provided in pars. (b) to (d), any person who violates sub. (2) (a) to (f) is subject to a Class C forfeiture.

943.455(4)(b)

(b) Except as provided in pars. (c) and (d), any person who violates sub. (2) (a) to (f) as a 2nd or subsequent offense is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

943.455(4)(c)

(c) Except as provided in par. (d), any person who violates sub. (2) (a) to (f) for direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

943.455(4)(d)

(d) Any person who violates sub. (2) (a) to (f) for direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain as a 2nd or subsequent offense is guilty of a Class I felony.

943.455(5)

(5) Exception. This section does not affect the use by a person of commercial mobile services if the services have been paid for.

943.455 - ANNOT.

History: 1991 a. 39; 1993 a. 496; 1997 a. 218; 2001 a. 109.

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