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Domestic Violence Attorneys Racine office (near the Village Center Strip Mall)

Penalties for typical charges where domestic violence modifiers are attached include up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine on disorderly conduct, up to 9 months in jail and up to a $10,000 fine on battery or criminal damage to property, and up to 6 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine on substantial battery, false imprisonment, strangulation/suffocation, and child abuse.  The domestic violence modifier increases the financial penalty and is a mandatory cost that can only be waived if the court determines it will “have a negative impact on the offender’s family.”

Glenn Gaskill

OWI & Criminal Defense Attorney

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Domestic violence or domestic abuse is not a specific criminal offense in Wisconsin. Instead, it is a charge modifier that can result in extra penalties and cause you to permanently lose your gun rights. When you are facing a domestic violence modifier it indicates that the other person involved in the case is someone you have or have had a domestic relationship with. A domestic relationship is someone you either are currently living together, have previously lived together, are married to, were married to, or someone you share children in common with.

Domestic Violence Penalties in Racine & Kenosha

If you are convicted of an offense with a domestic violence modifier you will permanently lose your right to possess a firearm. The loss of your 2nd amendment rights is based on federal law and can be applied even if your case does not have the domestic violence modifier. For that to happen, within the facts of your case, there must be alleged “use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.” If the facts do include such conduct, and you are convicted, you are banned, federally, from possessing a firearm. Upon entering a plea on a criminal case, the defendant is asked if they are stipulating the facts in the criminal complaint, our Racine and Kenosha lawyers have successfully negotiated a specific set of agreed-to facts to preserve an individual’s 2nd amendment rights.

The most frequent criminal charges where a prosecutor will include a domestic violence modifier are:

  • disorderly conduct
  • battery, substantial battery
  • criminal damage to property
  • strangulation/suffocation
  • false imprisonment
  • & child abuse

You would lose your 2nd amendment rights for some of these charges independent of the domestic violence modifier (substantial battery, strangulation/suffocation, false imprisonment, and child abuse) because they are felony offenses. But others, specifically disorderly conduct, could be something as small as an argument at home that a neighbor overheard, which could still leave you facing the loss of your firearm rights.

Police Involvement

When the police in Racine and Kenosha respond to a suspected domestic violence call, someone will be taken into custody and that decision will be based on who they believe is the primary aggressor, if there is a history of abuse, whether there is a visible injury and who they believe is most likely to continue the violence.

After placing someone under arrest the other party will be asked if they want to enforce a 72-hour no-contact order. Often police in Racine and Kenosha will attempt to pressure the remaining party to have the 72-hour no-contact order, which can have an impact on the case if criminal charges are filed. Frequently a prosecutor will request a no-contact order throughout a criminal case that has a domestic violence modifier, if the 72-hour no-contact order was waived a skilled lawyer may be able to argue that such a no-contact order is neither desired nor necessary for your case. To waive the 72-hour no-contact order the party must sign a waiver with the police.

Violation of a 72-hour no-contact order can result in criminal charges punishable by up to 9 months in jail, up to a $10,000 fine, or both and is a class A misdemeanor.

Additionally, following police contact for a domestic dispute frequently the complaining individual will file for a restraining order. A court, on a temporary basis, can grant a restraining order without having first had a hearing. Violating a restraining, or an injunction which may be granted following a hearing, is a criminal offense punishable by up to 9 months in jail, up to a $10,000 fine, or both.

Racine-Kenosha Area Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers

With so much to lose, both your freedom and constitutional rights, making sure you hire the right lawyers is crucial. Our award-winning Racine and Kenosha lawyers will aggressively fight your case to protect you and to make sure you do not unnecessarily lose any of your rights.

Contact Grieve Law LLC for a FREE legal consultation


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 out 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

Domestic violence charges often arise in two different ways. 1) is through fabrication or exaggeration of the story told by the alleged victim in your case or 2) when the violence occurs as an act of self-defense. Our experienced domestic violence attorneys in Racine 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 Racine-Kenosha domestic violence attorneys to protect your future from false domestic violence claims.

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We know
because we were prosecutors.

Tom Grieve, the firm's managing attorney and founder, is a former state prosecutor and is not the only ex-prosecutor at the firm. We love hiring attorneys from both sides of the wall to bring as many perspectives to fight your case as aggressively as possible. The State of Wisconsin likes it when you choose the run-of-the-mill fee to plea™ lawyers who don't even know how to analyze and defend cases instead of experienced criminal attorneys:

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