The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 32.1% of Wisconsin men and 36.3% of Wisconsin women experience some form of domestic violence (DV). The same source shared that 30,999 incidents of domestic violence were reported in the state, and nearly 22,000 arrests were made in 2018 alone. 

Those numbers may seem shocking to many Wisconsinites, but the truth is that not all people who are accused of domestic violence are guilty of the crime. Being arrested for domestic violence is a distressing event, especially if the arrest is based on false information. It is also inconvenient, costly, and potentially damaging to your future. 

If you’ve been wrongly accused and charged with DV, an attorney serving Middleton, WI, can help. It is possible to fight a domestic charge and be successful if you have the experience of Maciolek Law Group on your side. 

All About Wisconsin’s Mandatory Arrest Law

As per Wisconsin state law, if a law enforcement officer has a reasonable belief that domestic violence has occurred, they are legally obligated to arrest the individual assumed to be the predominant aggressor. 

Once an arrest has been made, the case will be referred to the Dane Country District Attorney, located in Madison, WI. At this point, neither the alleged victim nor the defendant can move to have the charges dropped. If the alleged victim wishes to explain or recant an accusation, they must wait until the case goes to court. 

After the arrested individual is released from custody, it is illegal for them to contact the victim for 72 hours, even if the victim consents or initiates contact. Violation of a no-contact order may result in a jail sentence of up to nine months and a fine of up to $10,000.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in Wisconsin

Domestic violence laws in Wisconsin protect the following people:

  • A spouse or ex-spouse
  • Someone who is cohabitating with the defendant
  • Someone who was previously cohabitating with the defendant
  • Someone who shares children and is co-parenting with the defendant

DV is defined as acting on or threatening offenses such as intimidation, abuse, battery, sexual assault, and property damage. 

Potential penalties depend on several factors, including the offense for which a person is arrested. For example, felony battery, in which great bodily harm is caused intentionally, is a more serious crime than property damage.  

Crimes that qualify as Class E felonies, such as aggravated battery, can result in a fine of up to $50,000 and up to 15 years in prison. Wisconsin applies existing statutes if additional charges like sexual assault or kidnapping are made. 

Penalties can range from non-criminal citations to severe legal and financial consequences. A defendant might also lose parental rights and the right to own firearms. 

What to Do if You Are Arrested for Domestic Violence in Middleton, WI

After an arrest, you will be taken to the Middleton Police Department on Donna Drive. Whether domestic violence accusations are true or false, you have a right to the best legal representation possible. 

Call an experienced domestic violence defense attorney as soon as you can. An attorney will help you navigate the legal landscape and begin building a defense strategy on your behalf. 

Follow these steps if you are arrested for domestic violence:

Remain Calm

Arguing with police officers will not help your case, even if you are innocent. Stay calm and comply with all directions from law enforcement. Any attempt to resist arrest or confront police officers could result in additional charges. 

Remain Silent

It is your right to remain silent. Do not make any statements until you’ve had an opportunity to speak with your lawyer. Refrain from talking about the incident to friends, family, or anyone who visits you while in jail except your lawyer. Do not mention the case on social media. 

Preserve Evidence

Save any texts, voicemails, and emails that might be helpful to your case. Photos of the scene and your injuries (if any) can be helpful. Let your attorney know if there are witnesses they should interview. 

Follow All Legal Mandates

Do not violate a restraining order if one is levied. Violating any of the terms of a restraining order can lead to further charges and penalties. Follow up with any counseling sessions or other actions mandated by the court. 

Seek Treatment

If alcohol or substance use or any other mental health concerns are contributing to unpredictable behavior, don’t wait for treatment to be ordered by the court. Seeking treatment on your own may be viewed as a show of good faith by the court and could positively impact your case.  

Why Hire Maciolek Law Group for Domestic Violence Defense?

Many people make the mistake of thinking they don’t need legal representation. Innocent people often assume all they need to do is tell the truth, and everything will be alright. Once you are arrested for domestic violence in Middleton, you need someone with experience in the Wisconsin legal system to protect your rights.  

Working with an attorney serving in Middleton may reduce penalties and save you time, money, and harassment. The team at Maciolek Law Group is committed to fighting for every client’s legal rights. We have successfully defended clients with the following domestic violence charges:

  • Bail jumping
  • Battery, including substantial battery and aggravated battery
  • Burglary
  • Criminal damage to property
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Homicide
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Strangulation
  • Theft
  • Violation of restraining order

A lawyer with experience in criminal defense can anticipate what will happen in a case and prepare for every possibility. 

What Can an Attorney Do for You?

Attorneys must take several steps to build a strong defense for their clients. 

Gather Evidence

Lawyers have the resources and knowledge needed to uncover evidence that may be crucial in your defense. Evidence such as medical records, expert opinions, photos, videos, and surveillance footage may all be used to challenge domestic violence allegations. 

Weaken the Prosecution’s Case

Finding and exploiting weaknesses in a prosecutor’s case is part of a defense attorney’s job. Maciolek Law Group attorneys are familiar with prosecution tactics and know how to counter them. We can anticipate strategies and present evidence that casts reasonable doubt on a client’s guilt. 

Plea Bargain

Sometimes, the best option is to accept a favorable plea bargain. An attorney can advise you on when to accept a plea based on the strengths and weaknesses of a prosecutor’s case. Accepting a plea can greatly reduce the penalties for domestic violence. 

Protect Your Rights

From the moment you retain our services, Maciolek Law Group is committed to protecting your legal rights. Every defendant has the right to fair treatment. If law enforcement infringed on your rights with an unlawful search or any other violation, we will fight to have your rights restored. 

Contact Maciolek Law Group Today

Being charged with domestic violence is a distressing and emotional experience. Whether the accusations are true, false, or require more explanation, Wisconsin’s mandatory arrest laws mean that whoever is assumed to be the predominant aggressor will be arrested. You need an attorney who will begin building a strong defense immediately. 

If you or someone you know needs legal representation for a domestic violence charge, call Maciolek Law Group. Our attorneys have over ten years of experience serving the people of Northeast Wisconsin. Let us put our skills to work for you. 

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