Terese J. Singer

Basic Domestic Violence Laws in Wisconsin

Domestic violence charges are a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Even being charged (not convicted) could lead you to lose your job and your reputation. Domestic violence charges are typically brought when the victim and perpetrator are in some type of relationship. It can be marriage, a civil union, or even simply a couple that is dating. Domestic violence takes place when one person inflicts physical or emotional harm on another. It can also encompass causing damage to someone else’s property or threatening to cause such harm.

Under Wisconsin law, domestic violence occurs when a person inflicts pain or injury, commits a sexual assault, or commits a physical act that causes the victim fear of any pain, injury, or sexual abuse. Depending on the nature and severity of the domestic violence, an individual can be charged with any of the following crimes: misdemeanor battery, felony battery, disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and stalking. In some states, violence against family or household members is punished more severely. This is not the case in Wisconsin unless the perpetrator is a repeat offender.

A police officer in the state must make an arrest and take the defendant into custody if the officer reasonably believes that the perpetrator has committed an act of domestic violence against a spouse, former spouse, girlfriend, a person with whom the defendant resides, a person with whom the defendant has previously resided, or a person with whom the defendant has children, assuming that any of the three following factors apply. These are the likelihood of continued abuse, evidence of physical injury to the victim, or evidence that the defendant is the predominant aggressor when the relationship is examined as a whole.

As set forth in a Wisconsin statute, there is a 72-hour no-contact requirement that the defendant has to abide by after he or she has been arrested for domestic abuse. During this time, the defendant must physically stay away from the victim and the victim’s residence, including a temporary residence. The defendant is also prohibited from contacting the victim or having anyone else contact the victim on his or her behalf. This 72-hour no-contact period is intended to serve as a cooling-off period to help deescalate the tension between the two parties.

The penalties for domestic violence vary depending on the specific situation. Typically, a defendant will face a fine, jail time, or both. In some cases, a defendant will also be served with a restraining order, sometimes referred to as a ‘protective order,’ which is a court mandate for the defendant to stay away from and not contact the victim.

If you need the services of an experienced and reliable Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer with a deep understanding of all areas of domestic violence, you should contact the offices of Reddin & Singer. We proudly represent clients throughout Wisconsin. Our attorneys will work diligently to resolve your claim. We understand that facing these types of charges is not easy, which is why you can expect the utmost compassion from our entire team. Please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 414-271-6400.

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