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What Are the Penalties of a Domestic Abuse Arrest in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Criminal Law

Brookfield Violent Crimes Defense LawyerIn Wisconsin, domestic violence is considered a serious crime. If you are accused of domestic abuse, you could face harsh penalties, including jail time and hefty fines. You may also be subject to a restraining order or injunction that may prevent you from returning to your home or contacting your family members. By understanding the criminal laws in Wisconsin that affect these cases and the punishments that may be imposed following an arrest or conviction, you can make sure your rights will be protected as you address these issues. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can take the correct steps to defend against domestic abuse charges and minimize the effects on your life, your family relationships, your reputation, and your freedom.

Wisconsin’s Domestic Abuse Statute

In Wisconsin, domestic abuse is defined as the intentional infliction of physical harm, injury, or impairment on an adult family member or a person who lives in the same household as the alleged offender. These charges may also apply if the alleged victim is a person's ex-spouse, someone they are dating or have dated in the past, the other parent of a person's child, or a disabled person under the care of the alleged offender. Domestic abuse charges may also apply if a person is accused of committing sexual assault, stalking, or damage to property against a family or household member or if they make threats to commit any of these actions.

Penalties for Domestic Abuse Convictions in Wisconsin

The exact penalties for domestic abuse vary depending on the offense that was committed. In Wisconsin, these offenses may include: 

  • Disorderly Conduct – A person can be charged with disorderly conduct if they make loud or unreasonable noise, use abusive language, or act in an unlawfully violent manner towards another person in public or near their home. This offense is a Class B misdemeanor, and a conviction may result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail. 

  • Battery – This offense involves acts that intentionally cause bodily harm to another person. Battery is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction carries a penalty of up to nine months in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A battery charge may be elevated to a felony in certain situations, such as when a person is accused of causing significant bodily harm to their alleged victim.

  • False Imprisonment – A person may be accused of confining someone else against his or her will without legal authority or justification. This crime is considered a Class H felony in Wisconsin and carries a penalty of up to six years in prison and/or $10,000. 

  • Sexual assault – An alleged domestic abuser may be accused of engaging in sexual activity with their spouse or another family or household member without that individual's consent. Depending on the circumstances of a case, the charges for this offense may range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony. 

  • Stalking – This offense involves repeatedly following or contacting a person without their consent, causing that person to fear for his or her safety. Stalking is typically charged as a Class I felony and comes with a penalty of up to three years and six months in prison and/or $10,000. 

Even if a person is not convicted of criminal charges related to domestic abuse, accusations may lead to an arrest and other consequences. Police officers are required to perform an arrest if they have reason to believe that a person has committed a crime involving domestic abuse, as long as there is evidence of abuse, the officer believes that continued abuse is likely, and they have identified the person who is the "predominant aggressor." Following an arrest for domestic abuse, a person will usually be prohibited from going near the residence of the alleged victim or contacting them in any way for 72 hours. Violation of these restrictions can result in additional criminal charges, and if convicted, a person may be sentenced to up to nine months in prison, fined up to $10,000, or both.

Contact Our Waukesha Domestic Abuse Defense Attorneys     

Knowing what potential penalties you might face if convicted on domestic abuse charges can help better prepare you for your defense strategy against these allegations. If you have been charged with any type of crime related to domestic violence in Wisconsin, it is important that you seek legal advice from an experienced Pewaukee domestic violence defense lawyer so that you can protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome for your case. If you have questions about your individual case, contact Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP right away. We will answer any questions you may have, explain your options clearly, and help you create an effective strategy tailored toward achieving positive results. Call 262-232-6699 to set up your free consultation.



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