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Understanding Sexual Assault Charges in Wisconsin

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin sexual assault chargesSexual assault (also known as sexual battery) is a serious offense in the state of Wisconsin. Considered a violent offense, and generally a felony, it comes with heavy penalties for those who are convicted. If you or someone you love is facing such charges, understand what these charges could mean for your future and understand how to ensure you are effectively and aggressively represented.

What Constitutes Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault charges can be brought by a victim against a total stranger, a friend, a neighbor, or even a spouse. The law treats them all the same. Essentially, it is constituted as compelling someone (a victim) to engage in sexual penetration, contact, or other sexual acts against their will. This can also apply if the alleged victim is considered to have been unable to give sexual consent (i.e. being overly intoxicated, a minor, or mentally incapable) at the time of sexual intercourse or contact.

Degrees of Sexual Assault and Their Potential Consequences

Under Wisconsin state law, sexual assault is broken up into four categories, or “degrees,” which are based on the severity of the crime, and the circumstances surrounding it. Age and health (including mental health) of the victim are also considered factors, as is the victim’s ability to give or not give consent. These are as follows:

First-degree sexual assault is considered a Class B felony that is punishable by up to 40 years of imprisonment. It involves sexual contact that causes the victim severe bodily harm or pregnancy or involves the threat of great bodily harm to the victim (including threats that involve the use of a weapon, or an object that is used to make the victim believe a weapon is being used). It also includes sexual assault in which the defendant was aided by one or more other persons using threat of force or violence, and sexual contact (with or without consent) with anyone under the age of 13.

Second-degree sexual assault is a Class C felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment. It involves any sexual contact that causes a moderate level of injury (including injury to a sexual organ), illness, or mental anguish that requires treatment. Sexual contact without consent with the aid of one more persons and the threat of violence are also encompassed within second-degree sexual assault charges. It also includes sexual assault on a victim that is mentally or physically incapable of giving their consent and those who are under the age of 16.

Third-degree sexual assault is considered a Class G felony and is punishable by up to five years of imprisonment. This includes certain non-consensual sexual contact acts that may be considered sexually pleasing to the defendant and/or purposefully degrading or humiliating to the alleged victim.

Fourth-degree sexual assault is the only form of sexual assault that is not considered a felony. Instead, it is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to nine months in jail. It includes any non-consensual sexual contact not otherwise covered under the other degrees.

Getting Quality Criminal Defense for Your Sexual Assault Case

Clearly, sexual assault charges are not to be taken lightly. You need a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who understands how to accurately and effectively represent you in your case. Specifically, you need one who is familiar with violent offenses and their defenses.

At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP we have more than 40 years of experience handling the cases of those considered to be violent offenders. We know that not all sexual assault charges are what they first seem. We search for any evidence that could provide leverage in your situation, including any form of reasonable doubt, and we aggressively protect your rights, every step of the way. Get the representation you deserve and contact our Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers today. Call 414-271-1440.




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