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How Does the Law in Wisconsin Define Domestic Violence?

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What Are Wisconsin Laws and Statutes on Domestic Violence?

Many people think of domestic violence as a fight between two people. It begins as an argument that quickly escalates and gets out of hand. By the time someone realizes they have made a mistake, charges may have already been filed against them. Criminal defense lawyers in Dane County will explain to you that domestic violence is a serious crime that you shouldn’t take lightly.

Wisconsin laws define domestic violence, also called “domestic abuse” as (1) the intentional act of physical violence that inflicts physical pain, injuries, or illness (2) intentional impairment of physical condition (intentionally hurting another person in a way that changes their physical condition); (3) certain types of sexual assault; or (4) a physical act that may cause another person to reasonably fear one of the other three actions will occur.

It can include the following:

  • Sexual assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Battery
  • Homicide
  • Stalking
  • Damage to property or pets belonging to the victim
  • A threat to engage in any of these acts

Who Are the Perpetrators of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence attorneys in Madison explain that in civil law, domestic violence crimes are often perpetrated against an individual with whom the perpetrator has an intimate relationship.

They could be a spouse, ex-partner, cohabitant, or someone with whom they share children. Caregivers also sometimes commit domestic violence crimes against adults who are under their care.

If you’re being charged for committing a domestic violence offense, you risk severe punishment upon conviction. It would be in your best interest to consult skilled Madison domestic violence lawyers to defend you. They can help you build a solid defense strategy to have the charges dropped or penalties reduced.

What Types of Battery Does the Law Recognize?

The law categorizes battery into three types, varying from the least to the most severe:

  • Battery: It is a Class A misdemeanor that entails causing bodily harm to another person without their consent. The penalties include up to 9 months incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Substantial Battery: It is the intentional infliction of bodily harm on another person, classified as a Class I felony. The crime is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 3.5 years in prison.
  • Aggravated battery: It is the crime of intentionally causing great bodily harm to another. It can be categorized as a Class H felony if the intent was to cause physical harm or a Class E felony if the intent was to cause great bodily harm. The penalties for Class H felony are up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. You risk up to 15 years imprisonment and a $50,000 fine for Class E charges.

Domestic violence lawyers in Wisconsin will explain that if you abuse a pregnant woman, you can be charged with battery to an unborn child. The crime is divided into the above three subdivisions with the respective penalties.

What Happens If Someone Accuses Me of Domestic Violence in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin laws are aggressive against domestic violence offenses. The state has several laws that increase law enforcers’ ability to make arrests in these cases. Crimes such as stalking are considered indicative of domestic violence and could result in more severe charges.

When the Police Arrive at the Scene

One of the first things police officers will do when they arrive at the scene is to interrogate the individuals separately. They will ask questions, and if they hear the same story over and over, they may look for additional evidence, such as bruising and other indications that an assault happened.

Law enforcers may arrest you for a crime connected to domestic violence if certain factors are present when they arrive at the scene. Based on reasonable grounds, police officers may arrest you if they feel domestic abuse has happened if:

  • The abuse will likely continue
  • The victim displays evidence that physical abuse has happened
  • You are the “predominant aggressor,” meaning you’re the most significant actor.

If police officers don’t arrest a perpetrator after there has been an allegation of domestic violence, they must file a report. The state keeps a close eye on such reports so that it has ready information in case additional abuse occurs later. The records also help officials identify training gaps for police officers in responding to domestic violence calls.

Restraining Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

In most cases, if you are arrested for a crime involving domestic violence, you will stay in jail upon arrest before you post bail or appear before a judge. Often, there will be specific rules not to contact the victim, including having a third party try to contact them. You also may not visit their residence or temporary residence during this timeframe.

If you lived together during the crime, you may be required to find a new residence after the arrest. A temporary restraining order, called a no-contact condition of bond, may be imposed against you if the court determines you pose a potential danger to the victim.

Yet the person who asserts himself or herself to be a victim may also file a temporary restraining order separate from criminal charges. If a judge agrees that there is enough evidence that you pose a danger to the alleged victim, you will be ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim. A hearing will determine whether the order should be made permanent. Violating the order attracts a fine of up to $10,000 and up to nine months of incarceration.

A Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Helping You Understand Domestic Violence Charges

If domestic violence allegations are leveled against you, take immediate steps to protect yourself. Avoid discussing your side of the story with law enforcers once you’ve been arrested, as you could say something to incriminate yourself. Instead, consult aggressive criminal defense and personal injury attorneys in Dane County for legal counsel and representation.

Casper Mehlos Law Group, LLC, has skilled domestic violence attorneys who can look into your case and help you consider all available options. We can also help you create a strong defense strategy for the most favorable outcome. We have a history of achieving successful results in domestic violence cases, including helping our clients retain their Second Amendment rights in appropriate cases. Our team will allow you to ask all your questions and give you proper counsel to help you make an informed decision. Call us at 608-820-8926 to schedule a FREE consultation.

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