Penalties For Domestic Violence in Wisconsin

Laws governing domestic violence are mostly on a state level. This means that the definitions of and penalties for this crime can vary greatly depending on the state you are in. Here’s a quick overview of Wisconsin’s laws in this area:


Defining domestic abuse is not as straightforward as you might think. In some states, the abuser must be a spouse or other family member of the victim, or live in the same home. Some states only consider physical violence, while others use more broad definitions. In Wisconsin, domestic violence can occur between an adult and

  • 1) Another adult member of the same household
  • 2) An adult in the abuser’s care
  • 3) His or her former spouse
  • 4) An adult which he or she is dating or has dated
  • 5) An adult with whom he or she shares a child

Behavior that legally qualifies as violence includes

  • 1) Intentional infliction of injury or illness
  • 2) Intentional infliction of physical impairment
  • 3) Destruction of an individual’s property
  • 4) Threatening to do any of the above

There are both civil and criminal penalties for abusers, depending on how the victim and the police decide to manage the case.

Civil Penalties

The abused party may request a Protection Order from a judge. If this is granted, the abuser will be forbidden to enter the abused person’s home or directly contact them. A protection order by itself is not a conviction. It is not issued by a criminal law. However, if a person violates a protection order that has been placed on them, they have committed a state crime. They will either be prosecuted through the civil system for contempt of court, or through the criminal system for violation of a protection order.

This is not common, but the abused party does have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against his or her attacker. This is not necessarily an attempt to seek revenge. A survivor of abuse may be facing medical bills or other expenses caused by their abuser and want compensation. Very few survivors go this route, however, as they usually want to cut off contact with their abuser permanently.

Criminal Penalties

Some states do not have a specific law against domestic violent. Instead, abusive partners are charged with assault, battery, sexual assault or other related crimes. In Wisconsin, however, domestic violence is specifically illegal. We are also one of the states that do not require the victim to press charges in order for an abuser to be punished. If police have reason to believe that a person is being physically abused, they must arrest the alleged abuser. A person arrested for domestic violence must not contact their alleged victim for up to 72 hours after the arrest.

For more information about related legal matters, contact Appleton domestic violence defense attorneys Kohler, Hart & Priebe at 414-271-9595.

25 Remarkable Domestic Violence Facts

Domestic violence is an issue in many marriages and relationships across the country, women and men who suffer from this cycle of abuse oftentimes are so committed to that cycle that they never seek support until it has become so visible to others that they can no longer deny it. Here are some remarkable facts about this disease:

1. Statistics about domestic violence, spousal abuse and intimate partner abuse currently come from only two sources-agency and survey data-this makes data on domestic violence difficult to interpret because most of the data comes from volunteered information.

2. A recent study found that 50% of spousal violence was two-way-both partners were showing aggression.

3. Drug addicts are responsible for 75% of reported cases.

4. Until 1984, standard police advice when responding to a domestic violence call was to advise the male partner to “walk around the block and cool off.”

5. Children often bear the brunt of spousal abuse, and not just emotionally-over half of spousal abusers abuse their children as well.

6. Spousal abuse is hereditary-it’s a practice that commonly goes from one generation to the next.

7. Lower income families are susceptible to increased levels of spousal abuse, but abuse occurs in families of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

8. Most all abusers feel guilt. They fear being caught.

9. In some cities there were once laws that allowed men to hit their wives before dark-spousal abuse is deeply rooted in culture.

10. One of the leading causes of homelessness is fear of violence caused by a partner.

11. Based on reported data, domestic violence claims the life of two women per week on average.

12. As it turns out, deaths of men due to partner violence occur at the same rate as deaths of women.

13. Nearly two thirds of all murders carried out by boys between the ages of 11 to 20 are intended to protect their mother from an abuser.

14. Men are often afraid to report being a victim of abuse.

15. There are more animal shelters in the United States than shelters for battered women.

16. Drug abuse or alcohol abuse and domestic abuse are separate conditions. Ending drug addiction will not stop a person from demonstrating abusive characteristics.

17. Many assaults are planned. They are not sudden bursts of violence.

18. According to the Domestic Violence Source Book, home violence killed as many women in the 1990s every five years as the total of American deaths in the Vietnam war.

19. Around one third of all reported incidents involving domestic violence include weapons.

20. Around 80% of all prisoners in the state of Ohio come from families where domestic violence was present.

21. One quarter of all divorces in middle-class families are due to spousal abuse or domestic violence.

22. Abuse during pregnancy often results in women having babies with birth defects or a miscarriage.

23. Locally, law enforcement agencies do not have to keep data on victim/offender

relationships that involve violence. They are only required to track this information if it is related to murder.

24. Research has shown that pets are affected by Domestic Violence too, just like humans are.

25. In 1984 the U.S. Attorney General recommended automatic arrest when police responded to calls about domestic violence.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse it is imperative that you seek help. This help could come in the form of an attorney or even a police officer. Violence always becomes progressive and eventually it will spiral to a point where someone is hospitalized or worse. Don’t let that happen to you.

Successfully Defending a Domestic Violence Application

While there are many genuine Domestic Violence Applications, experienced practitioners all too often see vexatious applications at the commencement of property and family law settlements.

Regrettably, some parties use the legislation as a defacto method to exclude their former partner from the home or from accessing their children. This can often exacerbate a difficult time and make matters worse.

If you are the respondent to a Domestic Violence Application that you wish to oppose, the best advice is to see an experienced lawyer who can provide you with timely advice on your prospects of success and guide you through the Court process. They can advise you what is a domestic relationship and more particularly what is domestic violence.

A protection order is commenced by way of a formal written application. Careful consideration should be given to this document, as this forms the substance of the complaint. Does the Application disclose that:

  1. A domestic relationship existed between the Aggrieved and Respondent;
  2. An act of Domestic Violence has occurred; and
  3. An act of Domestic Violence is likely to occur again in the future.

If one of the above elements is missing then it is unlikely that a permanent order will be granted by the Courts. To assist the Court in assessing these elements, the applicant is required to detail:

  1. The most recent incident, including dates if known;
  2. The history of domestic violence, including dates if known; and
  3. Why the Applicant believes that Domestic Violence is likely to occur again or a threat is likely to be carried out.

These details, when considered together assist you to prepare a defence. If the elements are all present then consider whether the allegations are true or whether there is some element of exaggeration. You should prepare a detailed response to the allegations.

If the incident did occur you should consider for example:

  1. Did it occur as particularised in the application or is there some other explanation?
  2. What is the context within which the incident occurred?
  3. Is the time frame suggested by the Applicant correct or was it a more distant occurrence?
  4. Did the incident occur in such a way that there is no likelihood of it occurring again?
  5. Where there any witnesses who can corroborate your version and will they be willing to provide evidence at trial?
  6. If the incident did not occur you should consider for example:
  7. Have you got an alibi?
  8. Are you able to independently corroborate that the incident did not occur as described.

Given that there was, presumably, a domestic relationship between the parties, Domestic Violence is often a bitter and hurtful jurisdiction to appear in. Parties find it difficult to focus on the issue. That is, should a Domestic Violence Order be made. A solicitor is particularly beneficial as they are able to dispassionately wade through the Application and look at the merits of the case.

A criminal lawyer can provide you with their advocacy skills and ensure that your defence is properly presented. Often an experienced advocate is able to resolve the matter without it proceeding to trial by highlighting the deficiencies in the elements above.

What To Do If You Are Accused Of Battery-Domestic Violence

It is a simple fact: the act of battery/domestic violence should never be allowed to happen, especially when it is against a spouse or family member. No matter how much someone annoys you or angers you, it should never reach that level. Unfortunately, this type of crime is an unending fact of life that occurs across all income levels, all races and all sociological base groups. Domestic violence is in fact so rampant that many states have introduced tougher laws concerning this crime and the police in a lot of jurisdictions can make the call themselves as to who gets charged with it.

Domestic Violence Laws in Florida

When they passed the latest version of the Florida domestic violence laws, the state legislature made it a point to include a very explicit statement concerning the role of the court in cases of battery/domestic violence. The message sent by the legislature to the courts included that the safety of the victim, the children or any other person that may be endangered by the felony act should be the first priority of the court and its officers. That said, it also emphasized that extreme caution should be exercised before releasing any defendants accused of these crimes.

Under Florida law, the term domestic violence covers any assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any intentional criminal infliction of physical harm or death on a family or household member. The term household member refers to those who currently or formerly live together, or family, those related through marriage or blood.

If you are Wrongly Accused

Battery/domestic violence is a very serious charge, and should not be taken lightly. In most states, and especially in Florida, if convicted, you could be looking at a prison sentence, and a charge that will follow you the rest of your life. If you believe that you have been wrongly accused, you must take the necessary steps to defend yourself and clear your name. It starts with hiring the right attorney.

It is extremely important that you cooperate fully with the police and court. It is understandable that you may be frightened by the whole ordeal, but the very best thing you can do is to be honest and cooperative, so that you can get the chance to tell your side of the story. Losing your temper, or being obstructive, can only serve to hurt your case in the long run.

What a Criminal Defense Attorney can do

While you may believe that you are innocent and feel like you can defend yourself against these charges, it is advisable not to do so. At times like these, it is always best to hire a criminal defense attorney to help you plead your case. A knowledgeable attorney can provide you with experienced legal advice, and will help you take the steps necessary to prove your innocence against all charges in court. Even if you have not been expressly charged, you will need an attorney’s advice while dealing with the police and the prosecution.

An attorney can call witnesses on your behalf and present any counter-evidence that can be brought against your accuser. Over the past few decades, the laws concerning felony battery/domestic violence have tightened, and an unfortunate by-product of that has been that the number of innocent people accused of such crimes has nearly tripled in recent years. To properly defend against such a sensitive issue, the attorney will need to know everything, including prior incidents, convictions, drug or alcohol use, and marital issues in order to mount a successful defense.

What A Victim of Domestic Violence Can Do

Domestic violence is a very personal and painful experience, and it requires handling by trained professionals who are experienced and compassionate. The first step in a domestic violence case is to protect the victim from any more abuse. This can be done with court orders that can be obtained with the help of an attorney who specializes in family law.

Domestic violence law in California defines domestic violence as the following:

o Threats of injury by hitting or using a weapon
o Actual physical behavior that hurts the person
o Forced sexual behavior and harassment
o Psychological abuse that deflates a person’s self esteem or attempts to control the person
o Stalking or cyberstalking

If any of these actions occur, law allows a victim to request a protective order from the court to stop the abusive behavior. These protective orders can be sought for an abusive spouse, but they can also be obtained against a sexual partner, family member or roommate. It is best to request one of these orders as soon as possible after the abuse occurs, since courts are more likely to provide orders on an emergency basis in these cases. However, a delay in reporting the abuse should never be a reason for not reporting it at all, since domestic violence law allows victims to file for protection at any time in the process.

A protective order in these cases usually consists of a temporary restraining order or TRO. These orders will prohibit the other person from approaching the victim at home, at work or over the phone. The order may also force the spouse to go into counseling and prohibit him from purchasing a firearm. The order may even extend to children and others living in the home if their safety is also at stake. If the person violates the restraining order in any way, the police can be called and an arrest can be made.

According to law, these restraining orders are registered in a statewide database. This makes it much easier to track and respond to abusers who choose to violate those orders in any way. If someone has a need to seek a restraining order, the best approach is to contact an attorney who is well versed in domestic violence law to help with the process. This professional can also help to ensure that the order is enforced and that appropriate measures are taken if it is violated.

Domestic violence is a painful situation that happens far too often. However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that abuse of any kind that is inflicted on a victim is stopped once and for all. Under law, a restraining order can be placed to protect the victim and the rest of the family if necessary. If you have been the victim of any sort of domestic abuse, contact a family law attorney right away to find out what your rights are and how to make the violence stop.