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Domestic Abuse in Wisconsin – What You Need to Know

Charged with Domestic Abuse in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, you can be charged with domestic abuse in response to any violence or disturbance between you and a spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, fiancée, or parent to your child. An arrest or conviction can do tremendous harm to your reputation in the workplace and community. Understanding the implications of being charged with domestic abuse in Wisconsin, and how to avoid it, is critical to avoid these consequences.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Wisconsin law defines domestic abuse as any of the following:

  • Intentionally causing physical pain, injury, or illness;
  • intentionally impairing someone’s physical condition;
  • sexual abuse; or
  • causing the other person fear that any of these will occur.

Because the statute is so broad, it can be easy for someone to accuse you. Even an allegation that you acted in a way to frighten the other person can be grounds for an arrest.

Why You May Be Arrested

A neighbor or your significant other can call the police to investigate a domestic disturbance. Whether you are arrested will depend on whether the other person is injured, whether the police believe there is abuse that is likely to continue, and whether the police determine that you are the main aggressor in the dispute. A history of violence can weigh against you, as can indications that the other person is hurt or afraid.

No Contact and Temporary Restraining Orders

If you are arrested for domestic abuse, you immediately become subject to a 72-hour no contact order. If this happens, whether you feel you were wrongly accused or not, you must stay away from the accuser. A court that finds you in violation of this order can fine you up to $10,000 and jail you for up to nine months. Similarly, if the alleged victim files for a temporary restraining order (TRO), you can be fined another $1,000 and jailed for 9 months if you violate that order.

Domestic violence accusations can cause you serious problems that affect you for the rest of your life. If you have been accused, don’t wait to contact experienced defense counsel for assistance.