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Domestic Violence and Wisconsin Laws

Domestic violence laws are generally determined by each state, which means they can vary widely from place to place. Here is a quick overview of Wisconsin’s laws on this topic.

Defining Domestic Violence

In Wisconsin, domestic violence is committed by one adult against their current or former spouse, or an adult who currently lives or formerly lived with them, or with whom they share a child. The violence may consist of one or more of the following:

  • Sexual assault
  • Intentional infliction of pain
  • Intentional infliction of impairment
  • Threatening to commit one of the above

How do police handle charges of DV?

Unlike some states, Wisconsin requires police to arrest a person suspected of hurting their partner even if the partner does not want to press charges. If police have a reason to believe that abuse has occurred within the last 28 days, or will occur in the future, they will arrest the person they consider the “dominant aggressor.” This is a difficult decision that they must base on factors such as prior behavior and the wounds suffered by either or both partners.

Child abuse is a separate crime from domestic violence. Legally, child abuse occurs when one or more of the following is done to a person under the age of 18:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Deliberate physical or emotional injury
  • Manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a child or in their home
  • Threatening to commit one of the above

Parents have a legal duty to protect their children. If a parent or guardian is aware that their child is being abused, but does nothing to stop the abuse, they may face criminal charges.

Contact an Appleton Domestic Violence Attorney

If you have been accused of domestic violence or child abuse, you need a committed and experienced attorney to protect your legal rights. Contact Appleton domestic violence defense attorneys Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595 today.