If you have been arrested for domestic battery in Wisconsin, it is important to understand the potential penalties you may face. Domestic battery is a serious offense that can result in significant legal consequences, including criminal charges and restrictions on when you may be able to return to your home or communicate with your family members. By understanding the penalties associated with a domestic battery arrest in Wisconsin and working with an experienced attorney, you can determine how to navigate through the legal process as you defend against criminal charges.
Understanding Domestic Battery
In Wisconsin, domestic battery falls under the broader category of domestic abuse. It refers to any act of physical violence or threat of harm against an adult family member or a person who shares a home–or formerly shared a home–with the alleged offender. Wisconsin’s definition includes spouses, former spouses, people who share a child together, people who are dating or have dated in the past, and roommates.
The severity of domestic battery charges depends on various factors such as the extent of injuries that were allegedly inflicted upon the victim and whether there were any prior convictions for similar offenses. Here is a closer look at some of the potential penalties for a person who is convicted of domestic battery:
Misdemeanor Domestic Battery
An offense of battery in which a person did not cause substantial bodily harm will typically result in Class A misdemeanor charges. Potential penalties include a maximum sentence of nine months in jail and/or fines up to $10,000. The court may also order counseling or treatment programs as part of probation.
Felony Domestic Battery
An arrest for domestic battery may result in felony charges if a person allegedly inflicted serious bodily harm. Battery in which a person intentionally caused “substantial bodily harm” is a Class I felony. A person who is convicted of this offense may be sentenced to up to three years and six months in prison and required to pay a fine of up to $10,000. If a person’s actions allegedly resulted in “great bodily harm,” Class H or Class E felony charges may apply. A Class H felony conviction can result in imprisonment for a maximum of six years and fines up to $10,000. A Class E felony conviction carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a maximum fine of $50,000.
Other Penalties of a Domestic Battery Arrest
In most cases where police officers are called to investigate reports of domestic battery, they will be required to perform an arrest. They may arrest a person who they believe is likely to engage in further acts of domestic abuse, or they may take the person they believe to be the “predominant aggressor” into custody. Arrests are also required if there is evidence that an alleged victim has suffered a physical injury due to domestic battery.
After a domestic battery arrest, a person cannot be released until they appear before a judge or post bail. After being released, a 72-hour contact prohibition will apply unless the alleged victim agrees to sign a waiver. During this time, the person who was accused of domestic battery will be prohibited from communicating with or contacting the alleged victim, and they will also be required to stay away from the alleged victim’s residence. This may mean that a person will be unable to return to their home and communicate with their spouse or other family members. Any violations of these restrictions may result in a person being taken back into custody by law enforcement until their domestic battery case is resolved.
Legal Defense Strategies
When you have been accused of domestic battery in Wisconsin, it is essential to mount a strong defense. Here are some common legal defense strategies that may be employed:
Self-defense: If you reasonably believed that you were in imminent danger of harm and used force as a means of self-defense, this could potentially serve as a valid defense against domestic battery charges.
Lack of intent: In cases involving battery charges, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to cause harm or acted recklessly. If there is insufficient evidence establishing intent, it may weaken their case against you.
False accusations: There are some cases where people are falsely accused of domestic battery out of anger or revenge. Your attorney will work diligently to uncover any inconsistencies or motives that point to the accusation being false.
It is important to remember that every case is unique, and the success of these defense strategies will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your arrest. Consulting with a skilled attorney who has experience in domestic violence cases is crucial for building a strong defense.
Contact Our Milwaukee, WI Domestic Battery Defense Lawyers
Following an arrest for domestic battery in Wisconsin, it is essential to seek legal representation immediately. The penalties for a domestic battery conviction can have long-lasting consequences on your personal and professional life. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we understand the complexities of domestic violence cases, and we are committed to providing you with effective legal representation while helping you avoid issues that could affect your family relationships or other aspects of your life.
To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Milwaukee domestic violence defense attorneys, please contact us at 414-271-1440. We are here to help you navigate through the legal process and fight for your rights.