Domestic Violence Charges 3 Surprising Facts Most People Don't Know
The facts about domestic violence cases in Wisconsin could be surprising. For instance, domestic abuse doesn't just include physical violence, is not always restricted to couples and could result in lost firearms rights, even for a misdemeanor conviction.
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In Wisconsin, domestic violence is not a crime on its own but a modifier added onto a criminal or municipal charge. If you are charged with an offense against a person with whom you share a domestic relationship, the State will add the modifier of “domestic abuse.”
Here are three important facts about domestic abuse charges you might not know:
1. Domestic Abuse Doesn’t Always Involve Physical Violence
Domestic abuse can include inflicting physical pain, injury, or illness. However, you can also be charged with domestic abuse if your words or actions make the other person reasonably fear you are going to cause them physical pain or injury.
If you are in an argument with your spouse and you throw a glass across the room with your spouse present, you could be charged with domestic abuse if your spouse feared you would cause them physical pain or injury. You do not have to actually hit your spouse to be charged with this offense.
2. It’s Not Just Couples
In other words, you don’t have to be in a romantic relationship with someone to be charged with domestic abuse against them. According to Wisconsin law, a domestic abuse charge modifier can be added to an offense against a person with whom you share a domestic relationship. A “domestic relationship” means a person who is your spouse or former spouse, an adult with whom you reside or formerly resided, or a person with whom you share a child.
If you and your roommate get into an argument over cleaning the kitchen, and during that argument your roommate reasonably believes you’re going to hurt them based on your words or actions, you could be charged with a crime of domestic abuse.
3. You WILL Lose Your Firearm Rights (Even if It’s a Misdemeanor, Not a Felony)
Under both Wisconsin and Federal law, a conviction on any felony offense will cause you to permanently lose your firearm rights. Under Federal law, a conviction for any misdemeanor crime of domestic abuse will also cause you to permanently lose your firearm rights. While there is no corresponding law in Wisconsin Statutes, the Wisconsin Department of Justice can enforce the Federal law if you attempt to purchase a firearm or obtain your Concealed Carry license.
Domestic violence charges can have a far-reaching impact on your future. Know your rights. Talk to our team of award-winning former prosecutors in Milwaukee and Madison to learn how to drop domestic violence charges in Wisconsin.
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Schedule a Free Consultation with Milwaukee’s Top Domestic Violence Attorneys
If you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges involving domestic violence in Wisconsin, you need experienced lawyers on your side. We know how the other side thinks, and we have a reputation for getting charges reduced or dropped. Schedule a free, no-risk, no-obligation consultation with our Wisconsin domestic violence attorneys to discuss your options for a domestic violence defense.
Contact our Milwaukee domestic violence attorneys to get your charges reduced or dropped and minimize your penalties.
In Wisconsin, how long does a domestic violence charge stay on your record?
In addition to losing rights to own firearms, getting a misdemeanor or felony charge, domestic violence could in fact be listed on your record for the rest of your life.