Wausau, WI Experienced Defense Attorneys for Domestic Abuse and Violence Charges
If you have been accused of domestic abuse or domestic violence, you are facing a unique set of circumstances and potential consequences that could affect your life for years to come. We can help you tell your side of the story and fight to avoid a conviction.
For most people who are accused of domestic violence, the accusations come under a challenging set of circumstances. Often, the police feel compelled to make an arrest in order to avoid the risk of any possible future harm, and getting to the bottom of what happened in court involves a battle of “he said, she said” in front of a jury that is sympathetic to the plight of the accuser. Those who are accused of domestic violence also face immediate legal action – in the form of a “no contact” order – which can lead to additional charges, if the accused does so much as contact the accuser or even return to his or her own home.
As a result, if you have been accused of domestic abuse or domestic violence (Wisconsin law refers to “domestic abuse,” but the offense is also widely referred to as “domestic violence”), you should speak with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Many forms of domestic abuse (such as substantial and aggravated battery) are felonies that carry the potential for thousands of dollars in fines and years behind bars. However, even a misdemeanor conviction can change your life in ways for which you can never truly prepare. To protect yourself, you need an experienced and effective advocate on your side.
About Our Domestic Abuse Defense Lawyers
At Crooks, Low & Connell, S.C., our criminal defense lawyers bring more than a decade of experience to fighting domestic abuse charges in Wausau and throughout North Central Wisconsin. We have handled hundreds of criminal cases, and we know what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to negotiating with prosecutors and presenting evidence at trial. We are sensitive to the unique issues involved in domestic abuse cases; and, because of that, you can count on us to provide a vigorous defense focused on protecting your freedom and clearing your name.
Facing Domestic Abuse Charges in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, the crime of domestic abuse is defined as commission of any of the following against a spouse, former spouse, anyone with whom the accused resides or formerly resided, or anyone with whom the accused has a child in common:
- Intentional infliction of physical pain, injury, or illness;
- Intentional impairment of physical condition;
- First, second, or third degree sexual assault; or
- Any other physical act that causes reasonable fear of imminent harm or sexual assault.
When the police receive a report of domestic abuse, they are required, in most cases, to arrest the person who is the “predominant aggressor.” The predominant aggressor is not necessarily the person who started the altercation, but rather is determined based on who appears to be the “most significant . . . aggressor in a domestic abuse incident.” This requires the police to subjectively assess factors such as:
- Any history of domestic abuse between the parties
- Witness statements
- The extent of each individual’s injuries
- The extent to which each person appears to fear the other
- Whether either party has threatened future harm
- Whether it appears that either party acted in self defense or defense of another
As you can start to see, there are many grey areas when it comes to charging and prosecuting cases involving allegations of domestic abuse. There are many potential defenses available; but, without an attorney who knows how to raise them effectively, you could easily end up facing penalties that are not justified by the circumstances.
Consequences of a Conviction for Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse is a label that is applied to violent and sexual offenses committed against the individuals discussed above. As a result, the punishment for a domestic abuse offense will depend on the specific conduct involved. Some of the potential fines and sentences for domestic abuse offenses include:
- Battery (Class A Misdemeanor) – Nine months in jail and $10,000 in fines
- Substantial Battery (Class I Felony) – 3.5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines
- Aggravated Battery (Class H or Class E Felony) – Six to 15 years in prison and $10,000 to $50,000 in fines
- Disorderly Conduct (Class B Misdemeanor) – 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines
- First, Second, or Third Degree Sexual Assault (Class B, C, or G Felony) – up to 60 years in prison and $100,000 in fines
In addition, those convicted of domestic abuse will typically be subject to restraining orders, mandatory counseling and sobriety, loss of the right to carry a firearm, and numerous other consequences.
Speak with an Attorney about Your Case Today
If you have been accused of domestic abuse, we urge you to seek legal help as soon as possible. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys, call (715) 842-2291 or contact us online now. With offices in Wausau, WI, our criminal defense lawyers represent clients throughout North Central Wisconsin.