A bill that would allow prosecutors to charge family members who hide or aid wanted suspects from apprehension passed the Assembly on Thursday afternoon.
Assembly Bill 274, introduced in September by retiring state Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, would remove exceptions already in the law for a person’s spouse, siblings, parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren who are exempt from being charged. It also proposes stricter penalties for those who harbor or aid a suspect for more serious crimes, such as those that mandate a life sentence.
The bill passed out of the Assembly’s Criminal Justice Committee on party lines in January, with three Democratic representatives voting against the bill. The measure was discussed and voted on during the Assembly’s floor session on Thursday.
The Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon. A public hearing was held in September by the Senate’s Committee on Transportation, Public Safety, and Veterans and Military Affairs.
If passed, the bill would impose stricter penalties for those who harbor or aid a suspect for more serious crimes, such as those that mandate a life sentence.
Currently, a person found guilty faces up to 3-1/2 years in prison. If passed, the bill’s changes would mean a defendant could face up to 10 years.Follow @eheisigWLJ