How to Drop Domestic Violence Charges in Wisconsin
Domestic violence charges in Wisconsin can have life-altering consequences. How you respond to your no-contact order and or charges could impact the success of getting your charges dropped in court. When in doubt, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
"Domestic violence!" Like "sex crime" or "underage victim," the phrase has a nasty sound to it, perhaps a hint of predetermined guilt, that threatens to drag even the cleanest reputation through the mud and hang it on the line for all to see. If you have been arrested for domestic violence, don’t despair--no matter how grim the situation may seem. While you may be facing fines or even imprisonment, with a proper defensive strategy, you could see your charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Penalties for misdemeanor battery in Wisconsin:
- Up to 9 months in jail
- Fines up to $10,000
- an additional Domestic Violence fee of $100
- Increased jail sentence (up to 6 additional months) for using or threatening to use a weapon
- Community service
Charges are often “bundled” with other offenses, which could include assault, battery, and disorderly conduct. You could be facing extensive fines or even jail time.
One fact in your favor is that police often make domestic violence arrests for minor incidents. When an argument gets out of hand, when voices are raised and objects are thrown, the police may take you into custody, reasoning "better safe than sorry." When the true facts come to light down the road, the entire matter may be dropped, with the assistance of a skilled attorney.
Steps to dropping a domestic violence charge:
- You will probably want a lawyer to carefully examine the evidence against you, any potential witnesses and their likelihood of testifying, and the intentions of the alleged victim. The prosecutor will generally want you to quickly accept a plea bargain, as domestic violence is often hard to prove, perhaps hanging on the testimony of reluctant witnesses. You will want to pay close attention to the advice of your legal counsel rather than letting the State bully you into accepting their first offer in a misguided attempt to get things "over with."
- Stay away from the alleged victim, at least for a while. Domestic violence arrests automatically come with a 72-hour no contact law, during which time you must avoid the victim’s home and not contact them in any way, even via a friend. Second, it is often wise to enroll in anger management classes or domestic violence counseling. Doing so cannot be used as evidence against you. Instead, it will cast you in a more favorable and responsible light in the eyes of the judge or jury.
- Keep quiet. You will naturally feel angry and defensive when the police accuse you of being a domestic abuser. But remember: "Anything you say can and will be used against you." Unless you are acting on the advice of your attorney, nothing can be gained by trying to tell your side of the story. You will only be providing the state with testimony they can comb for evidence or twist into an admission of guilt.
Dropping domestic violence charges, in summary:
- Do not contact the alleged victim;
- Do not talk to the police;
- Take action to show you are mature and responsible;
- Get an experienced domestic violence lawyer.
At Grieve Law in Waukesha, our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience assisting people accused of domestic violence. We are exceedingly proud of our reputation as lawyers who zealously defend our clients’ rights and, more importantly, win. Don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation.