What constitutes sufficient knowledge of an offender’s community supervision status where an officer wants to search him pursuant to 2013 Wisconsin Act 79?
Whether the officers in this case had reasonable suspicion to search Anderson pursuant to Act 79.
Act 79 created multiple statutes relating to law enforcement searches of people on probation, parole or extended supervision. Generally, if the officer “reasonably suspects that the person is committing, is about to commit, or has committed a crime” or a violation of his conditional release, then the officer may search him without a warrant. This case will establish what quantity and quality information that a person is subject to Act 79 is necessary before an officer may search him without a warrant.
One of the officers who searched Anderson claimed that he knew Anderson had been released to probation 5 months earlier. But the officer did not know the length of the term of probation or when it was scheduled to end. Also, Act 79 authorizes the search of a person on probation only if the probation is for a qualifying offense. The officer who knew Anderson had been on probation did not know whether it was for a qualifying offense.