A conviction for sexual assault in Middleton, Wisconsin, is a life-altering event. If you’ve been charged with sexual assault, it’s important to understand the specific types of charges you’re facing, as well as the likely penalties. The best way to protect your future in the face of sexual assault charges is to contact a skilled Middleton sexual assault defense attorney as soon as possible. 

Understanding Sexual Assault Charges in Middleton, WI

Sexual assault charges bring harsh consequences. However, the severity of the penalties varies significantly depending on the type of charges you’re facing. Sexual assault is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of non-consensual sexual activities. 

Wisconsin ranks sexual assault by degree. These degrees are based on factors like the circumstances surrounding the assault, the number of people involved, and whether the use of force was a factor. 

Understanding the type of sexual assault charges you’re facing is the first step in understanding what kind of penalties you face and why you’ve been charged with a specific degree of this crime.

First-Degree Sexual Assault

First-degree sexual assault is the most serious type of sexual assault charge in Wisconsin. Broadly, it involves the non-consensual sexual assault of another, usually involving the use of force or a weapon. 

This felony charge is most common in cases where the victim suffers serious injury or the assault leads to pregnancy. First-degree sexual assault charges are also possible if another person assists in carrying out the assault. 

Second-Degree Sexual Assault

Second-degree sexual assault similarly involves non-consensual sexual assault. While it can also involve the threat or use of violence, it typically does not involve the use or threat of a dangerous weapon. You can face these felony charges if the victim suffers injury, impairment of reproductive organs, or mental anguish that requires psychiatric treatment.

You can also face second-degree charges when the victim was unable to consent, such as if they were unconscious, intoxicated, or mentally incapacitated due to age or disability. Finally, individuals who abuse their authority to commit sexual assault, such as a law enforcement offer assaulting an individual in custody, face second-degree assault charges.

Third-Degree Sexual Assault

Third-degree sexual assault is a less serious charge than first or second-degree assault, but it is still a felony that is accompanied by serious penalties. 

Third-degree sexual assault charges are most common in cases that involve a non-penetrative form of sexual activity, such as non-consensual groping or touching. It can also involve cases in which the victim non-consensually comes into contact with the urine, feces, or semen of the accused. 

Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault

Fourth-degree sexual assault is the least severe type of sexual assault charge in Wisconsin. As with third-degree sexual assault, this type of charge can involve unwanted touching or groping. 

The circumstances and severity of the offense are taken into consideration when identifying whether third- or fourth-degree charges are merited in this type of situation. Fourth-degree sexual assault charges are typically reserved for cases in which the behavior is offensive or inappropriate. 

This is the only sexual assault charge in Wisconsin that is a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

Sexual Assault of a Child

Wisconsin law handles sexual assault of a child differently than sexual assault involving an adult. Most forms of sexual contact or intercourse with a child under the age of 16 result in a charge of first-degree sexual assault. The class of the felony and the accompanying penalties vary based on the victim’s age and whether force was a factor in the assault. 

Middleton, WI, Penalties for Sexual Assault

The penalties for sexual assault in Middleton, WI, vary based on the degree of the offense and other aggravating factors. First- and second-degree sexual assault charges often result in lengthy prison sentences — sometimes up to life in prison — along with significant fines. 

Third- and fourth-degree charges are less severe but can still lead to significant jail time and fines. All Wisconsin sexual assault convictions require mandatory registration as a sex offender. This leads to lifelong consequences, including restrictions on where you can live and work.

Under Wisconsin law, all forms of sexual assault (except fourth-degree sexual assault) are felonies. Felony charges lead to additional penalties, such as loss of voting rights and loss of the right to own a firearm.

Possible Defense Arguments for Middleton Sexual Assault Charges 

When facing sexual assault charges in Middleton, WI, having a strong defense strategy is crucial. Your criminal defense attorney’s defense argument will depend on the circumstances of your case. Certain types of defense arguments tend to be used most frequently in sexual assault cases.

Consent is one common defense argument. Arguing that the sexual activity was consensual can be a highly effective defense, especially if there is evidence to support that the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity. 

Arguing that the assault allegations are false accusations is another commonly used defense argument. Your attorney may be able to show that the charges are based on false accusations. These might be based on anger or the wish for revenge on the part of the accuser. Proving that the allegations are false can lead to having your charges dismissed.

Finally, proving a lack of evidence is often an effective way of getting a sexual assault case thrown out of court. Your lawyer may be able to demonstrate that there is insufficient evidence against you, in which case your charges will likely be dismissed. 

What to Expect After a Middleton Sexual Assault Arrest

Being arrested for sexual assault often brings up emotions of shock, anger, and worry. It’s important to cooperate with the police. Don’t resist arrest. You should also refrain from trying to explain or clarify the situation. This can be a challenge, but it’s crucial that you wait until your lawyer is present before you participate in police questioning. 

After a sexual assault arrest, you’ll probably be taken to the Middleton Police Department on Donna Drive. Once you call a lawyer, they’ll represent you during questioning and your initial hearing. At that time, your lawyer will help you understand your options, such as whether you will be released from police custody if you pay bail. 

Your court hearings will take place at Middleton Municipal Court, located adjacent to the police department on Donna Drive. Your attorney will help you understand the charges, build a defense argument, and represent you during your court hearings. 

Why Choose Maciolek Law Group?

Maciolek Law Group is a Wisconsin criminal defense firm with over a decade of experience fighting for the rights of Wisconsin clients accused of crimes. 

Over the past ten years, Maciolek Law Group has acquired a lengthy list of impressive criminal defense case results. Our client testimonials help to further demonstrate the life-altering impact our skilled defense attorneys have on the lives of our clients. When you need help fighting back against sexual assault charges in Middleton, Wisconsin, Maciolek Law Group has the defense ability and track record you want on your case.

Contact Our Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers in Middleton Today

If you’re facing charges of sexual assault in Middleton, WI, you have very little time to act. The sooner you contact an experienced sexual assault defense attorney, the better your chances of getting your charges dropped or reduced. 

A sexual assault conviction follows you for life, impacting everything from your relationships to your employment opportunities. Don’t wait to fight for your future. Contact Maciolek Law Group today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Middleton, WI, sexual assault defense attorney.

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