Domestic violence charges are a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Even being charged (not convicted) could lead you to lose your job and your reputation. Domestic violence charges are typically brought when the victim and perpetrator are in some type of relationship. It can be marriage, a civil union, or even simply a couple that is dating. Domestic violence takes place when one person inflicts physical or emotional harm on another. It can also encompass causing damage to someone else’s property or threatening to cause such harm.
Under Wisconsin law, domestic violence occurs when a person inflicts pain or injury, commits a sexual assault, or commits a physical act that causes the victim fear of any pain, injury, or sexual abuse. Depending on the nature and severity of the domestic violence, an individual can be charged with any of the following crimes: misdemeanor battery, felony battery, disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and stalking. In some states, violence against family or household members is punished more severely. This is not the case in Wisconsin unless the perpetrator is a repeat offender.
A police officer in the state must make an arrest and take the defendant into custody if the officer reasonably believes that the perpetrator has committed an act of domestic violence against a spouse, former spouse, girlfriend, a person with whom the defendant resides, a person with whom the defendant has previously resided, or a person with whom the defendant has children, assuming that any of the three following factors apply. These are the likelihood of continued abuse, evidence of physical injury to the victim, or evidence that the defendant is the predominant aggressor when the relationship is examined as a whole. Continue reading →