In Wisconsin, domestic violence is a charge modifier or enhancer that can be added to an underlying criminal charge. It is not a criminal charge in and of itself. Domestic violence, or domestic abuse as the statutes refer to it, can be added to any charge that involves a victim with whom the defendant has a domestic relationship. A domestic relationship exists between roommates, spouses or former spouses, or people that share a child in common.
Domestic Violence Attorneys Water Street office (Milwaukee's lower east side)
Those charged with domestic violence in Milwaukee (or domestic violence-related charges) face jail time, steep fines ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, probation and a restraining order (or protective order).
In addition to the financial penalties added for a domestic violence charge, there are additional penalties you will face if you are convicted of domestic violence. Under federal law, a conviction for any misdemeanor crime of domestic abuse will eliminate your ability to legally possess firearms for the rest of your life. You could also face additional penalties for violating any orders related to the domestic violence charge including jail time of up to 9 months, additional fines, probation, and community service.
There are also significant career implications if your employer becomes aware of your domestic violence charge, and you may have difficulty getting loans, renting a car or an apartment, or applying for other professional licenses. You may also find your domestic violence conviction used against you in a divorce or child custody case. A domestic violence conviction will have far-reaching impacts on your life for many years.
Domestic Violence Charges
Because it is not its own charge, domestic violence is added to other crimes and adds additional penalties to the penalties you would face for that underlying crime. Common charges that include a domestic violence modifier added are:
- disorderly conduct
- criminal damage to property
- criminal trespass to dwelling
- and other similar charges.
Any crime can have domestic abuse added to it if the victim and the defendant share the qualifying domestic relationship.
If police are called to the scene of an alleged domestic violence incident, it is likely that someone will be arrested and taken to jail. Law enforcement is required to make an arrest in any situation where domestic violence is alleged if they have reasonable grounds to believe that domestic violence has occurred, and either:
- domestic abuse against the victim is likely to continue
- there is evidence of physical injury to the victim
- or the person to be arrested is the predominant aggressor.
The predominant aggressor is not always the person who started the fight. The police will determine the predominant aggressor based on their observations and the information they gather from witnesses.
After a person is arrested for a domestic violence incident, they must post bail or be seen by a judge before they can be released from jail. Following that release, they will be subject to a 72 hour no-contact order. The person arrested for domestic violence will be prohibited from having any contact with the victim or the victim's residence for 72 hours unless the victim waives that no-contact order. In many situations, the victim and the defendant live in the same house. This means that even if you are married to the victim in your case, you may be legally prohibited from going home for three days. Finding housing for three days can be very difficult on extremely short notice.
Domestic violence attorney in Milwaukee
Tom Grieve is the domestic violence attorney Milwaukee men and women trust to get charges dropped or reduced in the case of false or exaggerated accusations of domestic violence. Unfortunately, these types of allegations occur more often than one might think. Individuals often claim domestic violence charges in cases of child custody disputes, property settlement disputes, to get out of an unhappy relationship or to seek vengeance for an unrelated issue.
Our Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys know how severe the tangible and intangible consequences can be when you’re facing domestic violence charges.
Aside from direct legal ramifications, there’s a potential loss of your job, children, and your reputation. In Wisconsin, domestic violence charges are nothing to take lightly. If you or a loved one are facing domestic violence charges, you need a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney who is experienced in domestic violence defense.
We most certainly do not condone domestic violence, domestic battery, domestic abuse or other related offenses. However, we do understand these types of charges can happen, even though unwarranted. It’s at this time you need a compassionate Milwaukee domestic violence attorney who excels in these types of cases. Tom Grieve is an award-winning Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer who has served as a prosecutor and defender for the State of Wisconsin. As both a former prosecutor and current defender, Tom has a nuanced understanding of the Wisconsin domestic violence laws and loopholes. Tom is well known and respected for his ability to get charges like these reduced or dropped entirely.
Contact our Milwaukee domestic violence defense lawyer today to set up your FREE consultation to discuss the details of your case.
How long does domestic violence stay on my record?
A domestic violence charge will remain on your record unless it is expunged by the court or pardoned by the Governor’s office. Some domestic violence offenses may be eligible for expunction under certain circumstances. However, the record of the arrest will remain available for view to the police department, courts, and other agencies. Additionally, many websites will post information regarding people arrested for domestic violence offenses. You may find yourself faced with the embarrassment of your friends and family finding about your domestic violence conviction through public records searches many years after the incident occurred. The impact of a domestic violence conviction far exceeds fines and jail time. The damage a domestic violence conviction can have on your reputation may be irreparable.
How to beat a domestic violence charge in Milwaukee
Domestic violence charges often arise in two different ways. One way domestic violence charges arise is through fabrication or exaggeration of the story told by the alleged victim in your case. The other way domestic violence cases are often charged is when the violence occurs as an act of self-defense. Our experienced domestic violence attorneys in Milwaukee will review your case and the evidence the State intends to use against you to determine the best way to challenge the allegations.
Keep in mind that even if the victim in your case decides they do not want to proceed with charges, the state can continue with the prosecution of your domestic violence case even without the cooperation of the victim. Contact our Milwaukee domestic violence attorneys to protect your future from false domestic violence claims.