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How Can I Defend Myself Against Accusations of Domestic Violence?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Milwaukee WI domestic abuse charges defense laywerFalse accusations of domestic violence are more common than one might think. They can be devastating to someone’s personal reputation and professional life. It is important to take these types of sensitive criminal charges seriously by hiring an experienced attorney who has defended clients against such accusations and understands the best way to proceed with a case. 

How Does the Law Define Domestic Violence?

While you may have an idea about what acts are commonly considered to be domestic violence by the general public, Wisconsin law specifies exactly what must transpire for a charge to be properly labeled as “domestic violence.”

Wisconsin State Statute 968.075(1) defines “domestic abuse" as any of the following engaged in by an adult person against his or her spouse or former spouse, against an adult with whom the person resides or formerly resided, or against an adult with whom the person has a child in common:

  • Intentionally inflicting or causing physical pain, injury, or illness
  • Intentionally impairing the other person's physical condition
  • Sexual assault, as defined by law
  • Taking any physical action that causes another person reasonable fear that any of the above acts will happen

Possible Defenses to Domestic Violence Allegations

In order for a person accused of domestic violence to be convicted, the prosecution must prove one of the above situations “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is a high standard, and it is possible the evidence against an accused does not rise to this standard. For example, the evidence may not support the claim that the accused acted “intentionally” in causing the injury, and an attorney may be able to establish that there is reasonable doubt of the accused’s intent.

Another possible defense could be that the accused and the victim do not have the requisite relationship for domestic violence charges to be brought. For example, if the accused never lived with the victim, domestic violence charges would likely be improper. While it may be the case that assault or battery charges could be brought, this is often preferable, since convictions for these charges do not carry as many consequences as domestic violence convictions. The most overlooked of these consequences is the federal prohibition against anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony domestic-violence-related offense from owning or possessing a firearm for life.  

Self-defense is another argument that can be made. This argument is best made through an attorney, as it is not applicable in many situations, and when it can be used, it must be argued precisely. The key to a self-defense claim is showing that the accused’s actions were only taken in response to threats or acts of violence against the accused. 

Call a Milwaukee Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Domestic violence accusations can affect your career, your family relationships, and your ability to go places of your choosing, and they can also have an impact on divorce or child custody cases. You need to address such accusations head-on with the help of a skilled Milwaukee, WI criminal defense attorney.

Our attorneys can help you handle this serious situation. We have worked with many people to defend against criminal allegations while vigorously guarding an accused’s constitutional rights. To learn more about your options for defense, call our offices at 414-271-1440.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/968/075

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