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What Consequences Can I Face if I Am Accused of Domestic Violence?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Milwaukee, WI domestic battery defense lawyerBy Attorney Nicole Masnica

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, nearly 30,000 domestic violence incidents were reported in 2017, and 21,000 arrests were made. Domestic abuse, as defined under Wis. Stat. § 968.075, involves a person intentionally inflicting pain or injury or committing sexual assault against a family member or causing a person to reasonably fear that these types of offenses would occur. Domestic violence may be committed against a spouse, a former spouse, an adult living in a person’s household, or an adult who a person shares a child with. 

Domestic Violence Charges

There are a variety of criminal charges that can be associated with domestic violence, including sexual assault, kidnapping, and homicide. However, battery is the most common charge that a person may face when accused of domestic violence, and it will typically fall into one of the three following categories:

  • Battery - This offense involves purposely causing harm to another individual without their consent. This charge is a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, a person can face up to nine months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Substantial Battery - This offense involves purposely causing substantial bodily harm to another individual without their consent, including broken bones, concussions, or burns. This charge is a Class I felony. If convicted, a person may face up to three and a half years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. 
  • Aggravated Battery – This offense involves purposely causing bodily or great bodily harm to another individual without their consent. Great bodily harm includes the risk of death, such as stabbing someone. Aggravated battery causing bodily harm is a Class H felony, and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm is a Class E felony. A Class H felony carries a six year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000, while a class E felony carries a 15 year prison sentence and a fine of up to $50,000.

If any weapons were used when committing battery, the court can add additional time to the prison sentence. For class E and H felonies, the additional time can be a maximum of five years, and for class I felonies, the additional time can be a maximum of four years. Weapons may include a baseball bat, knife, taser, or gun.

Effects of an Arrest Related to Domestic Violence

If you have been arrested for a domestic violence charge, there are a variety of other issues that may affect you, including:

  • The prohibition of immediate release. You will be unable to be released from police custody until you either post bail or appear before a judge. 
  • The possibility of conditional release. At any point during the 72 hours following an arrest, you may sign a written waiver stating conditions you must follow if you are released. If the waiver is signed and approved, you may be released from custody.
  • The 72-hour no-contact rule. Following your arrest, you will be prohibited from contacting the alleged abuse victim, and you must stay away from their residence, even if it is a home that you share. If you violate this rule, you can be fined up to $10,000 and face up to nine months in prison.

Contact a Milwaukee, Wisconsin Domestic Violence Attorney Today

A domestic violence charge can upset your entire life, and it can affect your family relationships and your reputation. If you have been accused of domestic abuse, you should contact a skilled Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer immediately. We will help you understand your legal options and work to minimize the potential consequences you may face. To learn more about how we can help, call us at 414-271-1440.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/940/II/19

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/939/IV/63

https://www.doj.state.wi.us/dles/bjia/domestic-abuse-data

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

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