Being charged with sexual assault in Sun Prairie, WI, can be an overwhelming ordeal. You might feel anger or confusion about the charges you’re facing and dismayed about the potential impact on your future. 

You’re right to be concerned in such a situation. A sexual assault conviction can lead to years in prison and forever alter the course of your future. Fortunately, the right Sun Prairie sexual assault defense attorney may be able to help you get your charges dropped or reduced to a less serious crime.

Understanding Your Sun Praire, WI, Sexual Assault Charges

Sexual assault is a very serious offense. Most forms of sexual assault are a felony in Wisconsin, meaning a conviction can leave you facing years or even decades in a Wisconsin prison. 

The first step you should take to deal with a sexual assault accusation is to involve a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Anything you say to the police can be used against you, even attempts to explain your side of the situation or clear up what you might perceive as confusion. 

A lawyer will help you understand the specific sexual assault charges you’re facing, as well as the possible penalties and their long-term impact. Your lawyer will work to understand why you’re facing these charges and try to build a compelling legal argument in your defense. 

It is possible to be cleared of sexual assault charges. However, it’s important to contact an experienced sexual assault defense lawyer as soon as possible so they can begin working on your case.

Sexual Assault Charges and Penalties in Sun Prairie, WI

Under Wisconsin law, sexual assault can take many forms. The type of charge matters because the prison time and other penalties you face depend on the degree of sexual assault you’ve been charged with. 

Most forms of sexual assault constitute a felony in Wisconsin. This means that in addition to penalties specific to the sexual assault charge, you’ll face the penalties that accompany any felony charges, such as the loss of the right to own a firearm or vote. 

Furthermore, most individuals convicted of sexual assault in Wisconsin are required to register as a sex offender. This status can impact your work and housing opportunities for life. 

First Degree

First-degree sexual assault is the most serious type of sexual assault charge. This is the charge in cases involving:

  • Use or threat of force with a deadly weapon
  • Sexual assault that results in great bodily harm
  • Sexual assault that results in pregnancy
  • Sexual assault that was accomplished with the assistance of another
  • Sexual assault of a child under the age of 16
  • Sexual assault of a person aged 60 or older

As the most serious form of this crime, a first-degree sexual assault charge brings the most severe penalties. The sentence for this charge can be up to 60 years in a Wisconsin prison. If the alleged victim was under the age of 13 and suffered injury during the assault, you could be sentenced to life in prison.

Second Degree

Second-degree sexual assault is also a felony that brings serious consequences in Wisconsin. People are charged with this in cases involving: 

  • Use or threat of violence against the victim
  • Assault that leads to injury or disease
  • Assault that impacts the victim’s reproductive health
  • Assault that leads to psychological distress requiring mental health treatment
  • The victim couldn’t consent due to mental impairment
  • The victim couldn’t consent due to intoxication or unconsciousness
  • The accused had an authority position over the victim in jail, facility, or institution
  • The victim was under 16, but threats and injury were not involved in the assault

Second-degree sexual assault in Sun Prairie, WI, can result in up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. 

Third Degree

Wisconsin law has less to say about third-degree sexual assault. It’s used in cases involving sexual intercourse or sexual contact that doesn’t meet any of the criteria of first or second-degree sexual assault, such as the use of force. 

It also includes urinating, defecating, or ejaculating on another without their consent. Third-degree sexual assault is also a felony. Penalties include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

Fourth Degree

Fourth-degree sexual assault is the only form of sexual assault that is a misdemeanor in Wisconsin. This charge is generally reserved for cases involving sexual misconduct that do not entail sexual activity, such as touching or groping another without their consent. This misdemeanor charge can result in up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Building a Defense Against Sun Prairie Sexual Assault Charges

A skilled Sun Prairie sexual assault defense attorney can make a life-altering difference in your case. Some of the possible types of defense arguments your attorney may be able to use in your case include: 

  • Lack of evidence
  • False accusation
  • Victim gave consent
  • Mistaken identity

How your lawyer builds a defense argument will depend on the facts of your case. However, a skilled attorney knows how to interpret the evidence in your favor and fight to have your sexual assault charges dropped or reduced to a lesser crime with less severe penalties. 

What to Do After an Arrest for Sexual Assault in Sun Prairie, WI

A Sun Prairie sexual assault arrest typically begins with being booked into the Sun Prairie Police Department on East Main Street. At this time, police will attempt to question you about the sexual assault. 

While it can be tempting to try to explain your side of things, you should always refrain from discussing the assault or your relationship with the alleged victim. Instead, contact a Sun Prairie criminal defense attorney and wait for your lawyer to arrive before answering police questions. 

You may be familiar with the Sun Prairie Municipal Court on East Main Street, but it’s likely that your sexual assault case will be handled at the Dane County Courthouse in Madison, WI. Your lawyer will tell you what to expect from the legal process, including whether you’ll be transferred to Madison and whether you can be released on bail. 

Throughout the duration of your case, it’s best to refrain from discussing details with friends or relatives or posting about the proceedings on social media. You should also follow your lawyer’s instructions at every step and allow them to put their legal skills to work fighting for your future.

Why Clients Choose Maciolek Law Group

Maciolek Law Group is a leading criminal defense law firm that’s been fighting for clients in Wisconsin for over ten years. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have a long track record of successfully getting our clients’ charges dropped or reduced in the face of many different types of crimes, including sexual assault. 

Our case results and client testimonials say it all. They show that Maciolek Law Group’s skilled legal team follows through on delivering the defense that clients need in the face of unfair criminal charges in Sun Prairie and the surrounding Wisconsin cities. 

Contact Our Sun Prairie Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers

If you’ve been charged with sexual assault in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, you have options. It’s important to realize that you have a very small window of time to find a skilled sexual assault defense attorney and fight back against the charges you’re facing. 

Maciolek Law Group knows what it takes to build a compelling defense argument in the face of Sun Prairie sexual assault charges. Don’t wait to contact our legal team for help. Call Maciolek Law Group today to schedule a consultation with one of the skilled Sun Prairie sexual assault defense lawyers at Maciolek Law Group.

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