Wisconsin Jury Instruction Criminal (WJIC)
855 Privilege: Defense of One’s Property — § 939.49(1)
INSERT THE FOLLOWING AFTER THE ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME ARE DEFINED BUT BEFORE THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPHS.
Defense of Property
Defense of property is an issue in this case. The law of defense of property allows the defendant to threaten or intentionally use force to defend (his) (her) property only if:
· the defendant believed that (name of victim) was unlawfully interfering with the defendant’s property; and,
· the defendant believed that the amount of force the defendant used or threatened was necessary to prevent or terminate the interference; and,
· the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable.
The law of defense of property does not allow a person to intentionally use force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm for the sole purpose of defense of one’s property.
Determining Whether Beliefs Were Reasonable
A belief may be reasonable even though mistaken. In determining whether the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable, the standard is what a person of ordinary intelligence and prudence would have believed in the defendant’s position under the circumstances that existed at the time of the alleged offense. The reasonableness of the defendant’s beliefs must be determined from the standpoint of the defendant at the time of his acts and not from the viewpoint of the jury now.
State’s Burden of Proof
The State must prove by evidence which satisfies you beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not acting lawfully in defense of property.
If you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that all ____ elements of _________ have been proved and that the defendant did not act lawfully in defense of property, you should find the defendant guilty.
If you are not so satisfied, you must find the defendant not guilty.
[Checked December 2017]