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What Constitutes a Domestic Violence Charge?

Man handcuffed

Domestic violence is a serious accusation that law enforcement deals with daily. Because law enforcement has to take all accusations into account, someone could be charged with domestic violence even if they didn’t do anything wrong.

If you’ve been falsely accused of domestic violence, don’t fight the charge alone. At The Law Offices of Jason D. Baltz our team is here for you to listen to your side of the story and help get you the best possible outcome in court.

Defining Domestic Violence

According to Wisconsin State Statute 968.075(1), domestic violence (or domestic abuse) is defined as acts that:

  • Intentionally cause or inflict physical pain, injury, or illness on another person;
  • Sexually assault another person; or,
  • Threaten to take physical action on another person that makes that person believe one of the above acts will happen.

Police will most likely take someone into custody if they fear that the potential abuse will continue or if a person has a prior history of domestic violence. Additionally, if police observe physical signs of an attack on another person, the accused will most likely be arrested.

If someone is arrested on preliminary charges, it does not mean charges are officially filed against that person. It only means that law enforcement will present the case to prosecutors who will then determine if official charges should be filed. This is where some potential domestic violence cases end as sometimes there is a misunderstanding between the people involved. However, law enforcement has to take all necessary steps to prevent a horrific situation from happening.

In other cases, prosecutors will approve charges and then the defendant must go through the legal system. A restraining order may also be issued against the accused to prevent another potential altercation from happening.

If I Wasn’t Arrested With Domestic Violence, Do I Have Anything To Worry About?

Yes. Most likely law enforcement will still make a report of their response to the home even if no one is arrested. That report could later go to prosecutors for review and they could determine that charges should be filed, leading to an arrest well after the initial incident.

Wisconsin’s No-Contact Order

If someone is arrested for domestic violence, whether you get out of jail right away or not, you automatically are not allowed to have contact with the alleged victim or be near their home (whether that home is temporary or permanent) for at least 72 hours. This is known as a no-contact order. If the accused and the alleged victim live in the same home, the accused will not be allowed to return to that home for the 72 hour period.

The only time the no-contact order can be waived is if the alleged victim signs a document asking for the no-contact order not to be in place. If someone is accused of domestic violence, it’s always best to obey the 72-hour no-contact period unless they know for sure that waiver was signed. If someone violates a no-contact order, they could face up to a $10,000 fine and up to nine months of incarceration.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

The penalties for a domestic violence charge vary as it matters if the domestic violence is connected to additional charges or if the alleged accuser has been convicted of prior criminal charges. Some examples of penalties for someone convicted of battery include:

  • Class A Misdemeanor — up to $10,000 fine and up to nine months of incarceration;
  • Class I Felony — up to $10,000 fine and or imprisonment of three years and six months; or
  • Class H Felony — up to $10,000 fine and imprisonment up to six years.

Domestic Violence Lawyer in Milwaukee

As you can see, domestic violence charges can range from a slew of consequences that can affect your personal and professional life. If you’re potentially facing or are facing domestic violence charges you need an attorney who will be with you from the beginning. That’s where the The Law Offices of Jason D. Baltz comes in. Our team will work with you so you can get back to living your life. Our services cover all of Milwaukee including the counties of Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Walworth, Jefferson, Dane, and Ozaukee. During your time of need, reach out to The Law Offices of Jason D. Baltz at (414) 375-0797.

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