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Statutes > Wisconsin > 948 > 948.40

948.40

948.40 Contributing to the delinquency of a child.

948.40(1)

(1) No person may intentionally encourage or contribute to the delinquency of a child. This subsection includes intentionally encouraging or contributing to an act by a child under the age of 10 which would be a delinquent act if committed by a child 10 years of age or older.

948.40(2)

(2) No person responsible for the child's welfare may, by disregard of the welfare of the child, contribute to the delinquency of the child. This subsection includes disregard that contributes to an act by a child under the age of 10 that would be a delinquent act if committed by a child 10 years of age or older.

948.40(3)

(3) Under this section, a person encourages or contributes to the delinquency of a child although the child does not actually become delinquent if the natural and probable consequences of the person's actions or failure to take action would be to cause the child to become delinquent.

948.40(4)

(4) A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, except:

948.40(4)(a)

(a) If death is a consequence, the person is guilty of a Class D felony; or

948.40(4)(b)

(b) If the child's act which is encouraged or contributed to is a violation of a state or federal criminal law which is punishable as a felony, the person is guilty of a Class H felony.

948.40 – ANNOT.

History: 1987 a. 332; 1989 a. 31; 1995 a. 77; 2001 a. 109.

948.40 – ANNOT.

Sections 940.02 (2) (a) and 948.40 (4) (a) address 2 different categories of proscribed conduct that differ markedly in their essential nature. That the defendant's particular conduct happens to fall within a relatively limited area covered by both statutes does not show that the legislature intended only one punishment. State v. Patterson, 2009 WI App 161, ___ Wis. 2d ___, 776 N.W.2d 602, 08-1968.

948.40 – ANNOT.

Assuming that the definition of juvenile in s. 938.02 applies for purposes of defining delinquency in this section, a 17-year-old is only excepted from the definition of juvenile for the single purpose of investigating or prosecuting a person who is less than 18 years of age. When the question instead was whether the 17-year-old was a juvenile for purposes of prosecuting another person for contributing to the delinquency of the 17-year-old with death as a consequence, the 17-year-old is a juvenile. State v. Patterson, 2009 WI App 161, ___ Wis. 2d ___, 776 N.W.2d 602, 08-1968.