Waupaca Domestic Violence Lawyer

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Domestic violence is a crime in Wisconsin. However, minor arguments and instances of consensual violence can be taken out of context and inappropriately charged as instances of domestic violence. When this happens, the individual charged with domestic violence can face substantial criminal penalties.

In Wisconsin, the following types of act may be charged as domestic violence:

  • Inflicting pain or injury to a victim;
  • Committing sexual assault against a victim; and
  • Committing physical acts that reasonably cause the victim to fear for his or her safety or to fear the possibility of sexual assault.

Put into specific examples, domestic violence includes hitting, pushing, kicking, engaging in non-consensual sexual activity, and brandishing a weapon in a threatening manner.

Domestic Violence Charges and Penalties in Wisconsin

There are numerous ways an act of alleged domestic violence may be charged. How an incident is charged depends on the details of the case. Ways domestic violence can be charged in Wisconsin include:

  • Battery. This is a Class A misdemeanor that may be charged when there is probable cause to believe the defendant intentionally caused the victim to suffer injuries without his or her consent. The penalties for this conviction are a jail term of up to nine months and a fine of up to $10,000;
  • Substantial battery. When the victim suffers substantial bodily injury, the defendant may be charged with substantial battery, a Class I felony. The penalties for this conviction are incarceration for up to three years and six months and a fine of up to $10,000;
  • Aggravated battery. This can be a Class H felony or a Class E felony, depending on the results of the violence. When the defendant intended to cause bodily harm and succeeded in doing so, he or she may be charged with a Class H felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the defendant intended to cause bodily harm and succeeded in causing substantial bodily harm, he or she may be charged with a Class E felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Additionally, committing battery against a disabled or elderly person is charged as a Class H felony, and intentionally causing bodily harm to a pregnant woman may be charged as battery to an unborn child, which may be charged as a Class H, Class I, or Class E felony; and
  • Disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct is the charge an individual may face for allegedly behaving in an unreasonably loud, abusive, or violent manner. This is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The consequences for a domestic violence conviction go beyond criminal penalties. If you are a parent with a child custody order in place, having a domestic violence conviction on your record will negatively impact your custody order. It could lead to you having your parenting time significantly reduced, subject to third party supervision, or even terminated altogether.

What Happens After a Domestic Violence Arrest

When law enforcement is called to investigate a case of alleged domestic violence, they may arrest the alleged abuser if there is reasonable cause to believe the following:

  • Continued abuse is likely;
  • The alleged abuser is the primary instigator of violence; and
  • The victim’s body shows evidence of physical violence.

Following the arrest, a 72-hour No Contact order goes into effect unless the alleged victim waives this order. This order prohibits the arrested party from contacting the victim in any way and going to his or her home.

Working with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Your criminal defense lawyer is your advocate. His or her role in your case is to determine the most effective legal defense strategy for you and to then use it to demonstrate to the court that you are not guilty of domestic violence. He or she can coach you on how to communicate with law enforcement and the court to avoid incriminating yourself and ensure that at every stage of your case’s progress, you know your rights.

In addition to fighting your domestic violence charge, your lawyer can help you fight a restraining order. Restraining orders can be extremely limiting and in many cases, they pose unreasonable limits on an individual’s ability to maintain a relationship with his or her children. It is important that unless and until your restraining order is lifted, you obey all of its terms. Violating the 72-hour No Contact period after an arrest can result in nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000, and violating a temporary restraining order can result in a nine-month jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000.

Potential Defenses to your Domestic Violence Charge

There are many different potential ways to defend your case against a domestic violence charge. The most effective way for you depends on your case’s circumstances. A few defense strategies used to fight domestic violence charges include:

  • Self defense. Sometimes, defending oneself from an attack requires the use of violence or force;
  • The violence was consensual. Some couples enjoy consensual bondage and violence in the bedroom; and
  • A lack of evidence to support the charge. This can be a lack of evidence linking you to an event that actually occurred or a lack of evidence showing that any violence occurred whatsoever.

Work with an Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Waupaca

If you are facing a domestic violence charge, be proactive and start working on your legal defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer now. To get started with our firm, contact Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. We are here to answer every question you have and work with you to develop the most effective legal defense strategy for your case.

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