The Degrees and Penalties of Sexual Assault in Wisconsin

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Facing any legal matter can bring an immense amount of stress for all parties involved. However, those facing criminal charges are often under the most duress. If you have been arrested for sexual assault, you may be dealing with concerns over your freedom, future employment or living arrangements, and financial status. Determining the outcome of a sexual assault case can vary greatly state by state. Each state in the United States of America has their own legislation regarding sexual assault cases, including specific guidelines that outline each different type of sexual assault, and the consequences that may be associated with it if someone is ultimately found guilty. Understanding the specific regulation can be a critical first step in order to be able to set realistic expectations for yourself and your loved ones as your case approaches. With that being said, It can be truly confusing for anyone to try to differentiate the degrees and penalties of sexual assault as they are specified in the state laws of Wisconsin. At eh Maciolek law firm though, we are dedicated to educating any potential clients on the details of their case and any charges that may be associated with it. We truly stand on the principle that knowledge is power. While we cannot control decisions that we may have made in the past, how we handle our responses in the future can be a game changer as it relates to the ultimate outcomes of a case. Regardless of your situation, remember that you have undeniable rights that must be upheld and respected, including the right to be informed. We want our potential clients to be as confident as we are in our ability to handle their impending case, and that starts with understanding the facts. To help make things simpler as you navigate the complexities of sexual assault legislation in our state, we have provided a breakdown here of the four degrees of sexual assault as recognized in the state Wisconsin. 

1st Degree Sexual Assault In Wisconsin

  1. Non-consensual sexual contact, this can include contact or sexual intercourse,  that results in pregnancy or severe bodily harm to the victim
  2. Sexual contact involving the use, or even the threat of use, of a deadly weapon, such as a gun, knife, or other object with potentially lethal consequences.
  3. Violent, or non-consensual sexual contact that another person aids. It is important to know that If someone else has aided or abetted in a sex crime, they can still be charged, even if they themselves did not have intercourse with a person involved in the case
  4. The Sexual connection with the use of force or violence involving a child under 16 years old, who is not legally able to provide consent.

The penalty resulting from a first degree sexual assault case is known as a Class B felony. In sexual assault cases where someone is found guilty and convicted of first degree sexual assault, the consequences can involve up to 60 years in prison, in addition to having to register as a sex offender. Having this status on someone’s record is public information. Being labeled as a sex offender can last for a period of time, or sometimes even be a permanent punishment. This stigma usually prevents the guilty party from finding access to reasonable employment, deters landlords or other rental agencies from providing housing options, and more. In a worst case scenario, the defendant could face life imprisonment if the victim is under 13 years old, as the sexual assault of a child is always charged with more severity that it would be if the victim was an adult.

2nd Degree Sexual Assault In Wisconsin

  1. Sexual contact involving a threat of force that results in injury, disease, or mental anguish for the victim 
  2. The sexual assault aided by another person that does not necessarily involve the explicit use of violence- this category also involves sexual assault while the victim may have been intoxicated, unconscious, or mentally impaired for another reason that would allow them to be abused without the necessity of violent coercion.
  3. Sexual contact with a child younger than 16 and does not include threats or violence and does not result in injury, but still violates the laws of consent.

Being charged with or ultimately convicted of second degree sexual assault is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly by the person who has been accused of the act. The penalty resulting from second degree sexual assault is known as a Class C felony. A conviction of this level can involve up to 40 years in prison. On top of the potential of having to serve decades of time behind bars, the guilty party can also face a fine of up to a lofty $100,000.

3rd Degree Sexual Assault In Wisconsin

  1. Any other type of non-consensual sex.
  2. Ejaculating, urinating, or defecating on another person.

The penalty for third degree sexual assault is a Class G felony, involving up to 10 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.

4th Degree Sexual Assault In Wisconsin

  1. Any other non-consensual sexual contact that does not involve intercourse, such as groping.

The penalty for fourth degree sexual assault is a Class A misdemeanor, involving up to 9 months of incarceration and/or a $10,000 fine.If you find yourself facing a sexual assault charge, do not wait until it is too late to contact an experienced sexual assault attorney. Contact our team at the Maciolek Law Group at 920.289.4262 for a free consultation as soon as possible so we can get started working in your defense.

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