Category: Blog

What is the Punishment for Sexual Assault in Wisconsin?

Sexual assault charges are some of the most severe criminal charges that an individual can face in the State of Wisconsin. A person can be found guilty and convicted of a sexual assault charge if they have sexual contact with another individual without their consent. More serious sexual assault crimes involve dangerous weapons and physical violence. A conviction can lead to severe penalties, including jail time.

If you are currently pending a sexual assault charge in Wisconsin, you must experience legal help as quickly as possible. The knowledgeable Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys at J. Kippa Law Office, LLC can help you advocate a solid legal defense for your pending sexual assault charge or represent you during plea deal negotiations with state prosecutors in your case.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a skilled Wisconsin sexual assault lawyer, please call us at 920-507-5252 or online for more information.

Sexual Assault Penalties in Wisconsin

To receive criminal penalties for sexual assault, the state prosecutor must first satisfy the legal burden of proof in their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The potential sexual assault penalties that an accused individual may receive upon conviction will depend upon the degree of sexual assault with which they are charged.

  • First-degree sexual assault is the most serious and typically involves serious bodily harm, use of a dangerous weapon, or physical violence. A conviction can lead to a maximum of 40 years of incarceration.
  • A second-degree sexual assault conviction can lead to a maximum of 20 years in jail and a maximum monetary fine of $10,000.
  • A third-degree sexual assault conviction can lead to a maximum prison sentence of five years or a total monetary fine of $10,000.
  • A fourth-degree sexual assault conviction can lead to a maximum of 9 months in a county jail and a maximum monetary fine of $10,000.

While first, second, and third-degree sexual assault charges are a felony in Wisconsin, a fourth-degree sexual assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor.

Factors that Affect Sexual Assault Penalties in Wisconsin

Certain aggravating factors exist which may increase the severity of a pending sexual assault charge, as well as the potential penalties upon conviction. Those factors may include multiple sexual assault victims, use of physical violence during the incident, and use of a weapon.

However, in response to a sexual assault charge, several mitigating factors might apply, including cooperating with responding law enforcement officers, lack of prior arrests, and lack of previous sexual assault convictions.

Consent and Sexual Assault in Wisconsin 

Many sexual assault cases hinge on whether the alleged victim provided consent to the sexual act(s) in question. Suppose the state prosecutor can show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the alleged victim did not provide consent. In that case, the accused can be convicted of a rape charge, leading to higher penalties.

Other Considerations in Sexual Assault Cases in Wisconsin 

When an individual is the victim of sexual assault, they can file a report. It is then up to the prosecuting attorney to bring criminal charges. If the prosecutor ultimately obtains a conviction, then before sentencing, the alleged victim can make an impact statement to the judge in person – or writing.

In addition to the potential penalties listed above, the accused individual may have to register as a sex offender on the State of Wisconsin’s sex offender registry under Megan’s Law.

Understanding Sexual Assault Laws in Wisconsin: The Punishments and Legal Consequences

Wisconsin’s legislative framework categorizes sexual assault into different degrees based on the severity of the offenses. Wisconsin’s sexual assault laws encompass a range of offenses, including first-degree and second-degree sexual assault, as well as third-degree sexual assault, which specifically addresses cases involving minors. Each degree carries its own set of punishment guidelines, considering factors such as force used, the age of the victim, and the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator.

Sexual Assault Penalties in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, sexual assault charges are divided into different degrees, each carrying its own set of penalties.

First Degree Sexual Assault:

First-degree sexual assault is the most serious category of sexual assault offenses in Wisconsin. It involves sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent that results in pregnancy, causes the victim great bodily harm, involves use of weapon, and involves force or coercion. First-degree sexual assault is classified as a Class B Felony, carrying penalties of up to 60 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000.

Second Degree Sexual Assault:

Second-degree sexual assault includes acts of sexual contact or sexual intercourse without consent, but under circumstances that do not fall within the criteria for first-degree sexual assault. This can involve instances where the victim is coerced, threatened, or incapacitated. Second-degree sexual assault is considered a Class C Felony, which carries potential penalties of up to 40 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000.

Third Degree Sexual Assault:

Third degree sexual assault is sexual intercourse that occurs without consent that occurs along with excretion of bodily fluids on the victim. Third-degree sexual assault is a Class G Felony. If found guilty of this offense, individuals may face imprisonment for up to 10 years and fines of up to $25,000.

Fourth Degree Sexual Assault:

Fourth-degree sexual assault encompasses cases where there is inappropriate sexual contact without the consent of the victim. This degree involves actions such as unwanted touching, groping, or fondling. Fourth-degree sexual assault is typically charged as a Class A Misdemeanor. Convictions can lead to imprisonment for up to nine months and fines not exceeding $10,000.

Factors that Affect Sexual Assault Penalties in Wisconsin

Aggravating factors in sexual assault cases are circumstances that worsen the offense and can lead to more severe charges and penalties. Here are some common examples:

  • Use of a weapon
  • Multiple victims
  • Age of the victim

On the other hand, mitigating factors can decrease the severity of sexual assault charges and penalties. These factors take into account specific circumstances that may reduce the culpability of the offender or indicate an opportunity for rehabilitation. Some common mitigating factors include:

  • Lack of prior criminal history
  • Cooperation with law enforcement
  • Accountability and rehabilitation efforts

Consent and Sexual Assault in Wisconsin

Wisconsin law defines consent as explicit agreement given voluntarily by each participant involved in a sexual act. Consent should be informed, ongoing, and freely given without coercion or manipulation. It is important to note that individuals who are incapacitated due to intoxication, drugs, age, mental incapacity, or unconsciousness cannot provide consent.

In cases involving sexual assault, the presence or absence of consent plays a central role in determining charges and penalties. If a person engages in sexual activity without obtaining clear and voluntary consent from the other party, it can result in criminal sexual assault charges.

Other Considerations in Sexual Assault Cases in Wisconsin

Sexual assault cases are taken very seriously in Wisconsin, with prosecutors working diligently to build strong cases against the accused. Once a report is filed, an investigation is initiated, evidence is gathered, and testimonies from both the victim and any witnesses are collected.

Victim impact statements play a vital role during sentencing hearings in sexual assault cases. These statements offer survivors an opportunity to share their personal experiences, the emotional and psychological impact of the assault, and how it has affected their lives. By giving survivors a voice, these statements provide the court with a deeper understanding of the harm caused and help guide sentencing decisions. These statements empower survivors to express their feelings, fears, and hopes for their own healing process while allowing the court to consider the long-term consequences of the assault on the victim’s well-being.

Megan’s Law, officially known as the Sexual Offender Registration and Community Notification Laws, plays a significant role in Wisconsin’s handling of sexual assault cases. This law requires convicted sex offenders to register their personal information, including their address and other details, with local law enforcement agencies. This information may be made available to the public, taking into account the level of risk posed by the offender.

Consult With a Criminal Defense Attorney Experienced in Defending Sexual Assault Cases

In conclusion, the severity of sexual assault and its lasting impact on survivors cannot be overstated. If you or someone you know is facing allegations of sexual assault in Wisconsin, it is crucial to seek immediate legal assistance from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. They will protect your rights, provide support, and guide you through the legal process. Don’t go through this alone; take action and contact a trusted law firm today to ensure justice is served.


The best way to obtain the desired outcome for your case is by hiring an attorney who will fight relentlessly for you. A Super Lawyer is your best option.

What Is a Super Lawyer?

The process for selecting Super Lawyers is complex; it is done by “a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.” Hiring a Wisconsin Super Lawyer to defend your case could help you achieve the outcome you are longing for.

Our Very Own Super Lawyer

Our firm is home to the Super Lawyer Jeffrey Kippa. Jeffrey is a decorated and compassionate criminal law attorney who boasts many accomplishments. Kippa states, “Simply put, I try to put myself in my client’s shoes, to understand their fears, frustrations, and concerns.” He has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers in years past and continues to astound the legal community each year.

Contact Super Lawyer Jeffrey Kippa for the defense you deserve.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you wish.”

If you are a fan of police procedural shows such as Law & Order, this is not the first time you have encountered this language. Known as the “Miranda” warning, it lays out the rights of those who have been placed under police custody.

It gets its name from the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. The language of the Miranda decision borrowed heavily from a thesis laid out by law professor Yale Kamisar, who died on January 30 at the age of 92. As reported by The Washington Post, he was dubbed the “father of Miranda”.

This seems like an appropriate time to take a closer look at Miranda and what it means for you if you find yourself in police custody.

When Miranda Warning Must Be Read

Miranda rights do not have to be read every time you interact with a police officer, investigator or other law enforcement officer. For example, an officer who pulls you over on the highway or knocks on your door at home does not have to read your Miranda rights to you.

Miranda is required to be read when you are placed into police custody and police interrogate you. This is the type of situation you are likely familiar with from watching the aforementioned television programs.

Failure to Read Miranda Warning Is Not Game Over for the Prosecution

Do not assume that your case will be thrown out if they failed to read your Miranda warning. It could become a crucial issue in your case or it may turn out to be nothing but an unfortunate footnote. Any time you are placed under arrest or have reason to believe you are under investigation, it is crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney working to limit your exposure to criminal penalties.

If you are convicted of a crime of domestic violence, then your firearm privileges will be revoked. This is asserted under federal law. Congress has stated that “anyone who attempts or threatens violence against a loved one has demonstrated that he or she poses an unacceptable risk and should be prohibited from possessing firearms.”

Several scenarios can lead to domestic violence charges. Misunderstandings are one of these scenarios. Unfortunately, a conviction greatly impacts you for the rest of your life. Attorney Jeffrey Kippa and team at J. Kippa Law, LLC, understand the serious implications of domestic abuse. As criminal defense attorneys in Appleton, they are dedicated to helping their clients every step of the way and know what options may be available to get criminal charges dismissed or reduced.

Contrary to some myths and the public eye, verbal violence, verbal threats, and emotional abuse allegations are more common than physical violence, and are often present in abusive domestic and intimate relationships. While a certain amount of bickering is normal in any relationship, it can easily cross the line into abuse. So, what is verbal abuse and is it considered to be domestic violence in Wisconsin?

What is Verbal Abuse | What is Verbal Assault?

Again, arguments are normal in all relationships, and sometimes people can even say awful things to each other. A key difference is that a verbal assault’s definition and some signs of verbal abuse or verbal assault include:

  • Name-calling.
  • Frequent yelling or screaming.
  • Attempts at humiliation.
  • Passing off awful things as “jokes.”
  • Arguments that come out of the blue, yet are somehow your fault.
  • Dredging up unrelated issues in arguments, constantly. This is sometimes called “kitchen sinking.”
  • It only happens when nobody else is around.
  • Condescension.
  • Unconstructive criticism.
  • Accusations.
  • Withholding, isolating and sulking.
  • Gaslighting (systematically trying to make you question your version of events).
  • Breaking or smashing things.
  • Threatening violence.

Everyone does awful things sometimes, but if it becomes a pattern, then verbal abuse (or verbal violence) might be happening. If you find yourself engaging in these behaviors, you almost certainly need help. If you are being accused of these things and don’t think you have a pattern, then you likely have a problem in your relationship that might entail protecting yourself by retaining the services of a domestic violence defence attorney.

Is Verbal Abuse a Crime in Wisconsin?

Generally, verbal violence or verbal assault can be considered a crime in Wisconsin. First of all, harassment is illegal in Wisconsin, and it includes “repeated acts that harass or intimidate another person and which serve no legitimate purpose.”

Additionally, domestic abuse (and verbal violence) in Wisconsin includes threatening to cause pain, threatening sexual assault, and includes both destroying property and threatening to do so. So, depending on what you actually said, you could indeed be facing domestic violence charges for excessively yelling or verbally attacking persons.

Consequences of Verbal Abuse

The most likely consequence is an emergency protective order or a temporary restraining order. The latter is generally issued in cases of harassment, while the former covers domestic violence.

Criminal convictions for verbal assaults and verbal abuse are relatively rare, but they can happen, especially if somebody managed to record the conversation. In all cases, you need a good domestic violence defense attorney to help you avoid criminal charges and fight for your rights. Contact J. Kippa Law Office, LLC to find out how we can help you.

It is illegal for a driver to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol level) at or above .08 percent in Wisconsin. If an individual has three or more previous DWI convictions, their illegal BAC while operating a vehicle lower to .02 percent.

The looming pandemic has resulted in ridesharing applications such as Lyft and Uber posing less desirable to many Americans, as they worry about contracting the virus from a stranger. The duty of choosing a designated driver before a night out is more important than ever.

With Wisconsin repeatedly landing itself on the list of the top ten states with the most DUIs, existing strategies aimed to lessen the already widely-committed OWI offenses in our state prove important, especially as circumstances in our country continue to shift.  Most individuals are aware of the OWI laws in the state but not many are aware of the additional measures law enforcement take in order to make sure their roads remain safe.  It’s important to keep these additional measures in mind and avoid drinking and getting behind the wheel. 

Sobriety Checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints are predetermined locations where officers stop drivers to check if they are alcohol impaired. Each vehicle that passes this location may be stopped, or vehicles may be stopped at certain intervals. The locations utilized for checkpoints are greatly visible, as well as greatly publicized. This ensures individuals perceive a higher risk of arrest, aiming for less drunk driving accidents.

High-Visibility Saturation Patrols

Many officers patrol a certain area, typically during times and at locations where drunk driving accidently occur most frequently. These patrols are regularly conducted and publicized highly, just as sobriety checkpoints are.

Are You Facing an OWI Charge?

If you are facing OWI charges, contacting a seasoned OWI lawyer is important. Attorney Jeffrey Kippa and the team of J. Kippa Law, LLC, are highly experienced in securing the best possible outcome for clients, with knowledge in working with judges, prosecutors and the Department of Transportation (DOT). At J. Kippa Law, LLC. we understand that an OWI charge puts your reputation on the line and we have a long history of helping individuals prove victorious in obtaining the results they desire.

While many people string these two terms together into one phrase, the law assigns them distinct meanings. You may face both assault charges and battery charges based on the same incident, but these are two separate crimes.

Generally, battery means intentionally using force against another person with the purpose of inflicting physical harm. Assault means intentionally making another person fear you are about to physically harm him or her but does not have to entail an actual attack.

Assault and intent

Both your state of mind and that of the other person play a significant role in dealing with assault charges. Generally, the prosecutor must show you intended to make the other person think you were going to attack and the other person must have actually thought that. Did you commit assault if you told someone you were going to kill them? That can depend on the context. People may say this phrase jokingly, in such a manner that no one even thinks of physical violence. On the other hand, someone who shouts this phrase angrily and picks up a heavy object may face a stronger case.

Types of battery

Battery is also a crime that involves intent. Injuring someone accidentally would not support battery charges. Battery charges may vary in seriousness from misdemeanor to an E felony.

The gravity of battery charges depends largely on whether it involved a weapon and the seriousness of the resulting injuries. Minor injuries such as bruises usually give rise to misdemeanor charges. Substantial injuries, such as fractures, concussions or burns, can result in Class I felony charges. Penalties may include as many as three and a half years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. In the event that the injuries threaten the person’s life or cause permanent disfigurement, the offense escalates to a Class E felony, which can entail up to 15 years of imprisonment along with substantial fines.

Battery upon a person who belongs to a specific protected category can also significantly increase penalties. In Wisconsin, this class of persons includes people with disabilities, members of one’s family, witnesses in a legal matter, school workers, law enforcement officers, emergency room personnel, people aged 62 or older, and people with disabilities.

Wisconsin ranks among the highest in the nation for state alcohol consumption. But that type of notoriety comes with a new cost. Recently, state lawmakers have passed a new bill that takes specific aim at habitual drunk driving offenders.

Repeated DUI or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) offenders face permanent revocation of driver’s licenses after being convicted four or more times within a 15-year time-span. The consequences for driving while your license is permanently revoked results in a fine of $2,500 and the duration of up to 12 months in jail. A second time and penalties increase to $10,000.

Preventing tragedy

In 2015, the Department of Transportation (DOT) reported over 190 lives killed as a result of a drunk driver. There were also a reported 24,000 convictions related to OWI the same year. This new bill intends to aggressively inhibit the occurrence of such tragedies caused by drunk drivers in the future. Steep penalties apply to each level of OWI related convictions. However, permanent removal of driver’s licenses is leading the nation in state laws about DUI/OWI convictions.

Legal defense for OWI charges

If you or a loved one is experiencing drunk driving related charges, it is essential you know your options. Since the laws have recently changed, you may be at risk for having your license permanently revoked. Working with a legal professional may help you get your charges dropped or reduced. Don’t gamble with your driver’s license privileges when they could be taken away forever.

Do you think this new law will be effective?

If you are facing an OWI charge in the Green Bay area, you may be wondering what your next steps are. The mere thought of serving jail time may have you feeling stressed and struggling to sleep at night. You are probably also concerned about how an OWI/DUI charge will affect your job and what your friends and family think of you. 

You must not let your emotions overwhelm you to the point of inaction. You must stay on top of important deadlines and prepare to make some critical decisions. Mistakes and missing those deadlines can have a big impact on your circumstances and quite possibly lead to stiffer penalties. 

Watch what you say about your case 

Your feelings and the stress of your situation might lead you to talk to your friends and relatives about your circumstances. Be careful about what you say. Refrain from sharing details about the events that led up to your arrest. It is okay to discuss your feelings; however, any statements regarding guilt and responsibility regarding your charges are off limits. 

Be open and honest with your attorney 

If you must speak to someone about details in your case, talk to your attorney. He or she is there to represent you. You may feel ashamed and too embarrassed to be completely honest with her or him. Keep in mind everything you say to an attorney comes with the right of privilege. The more information you provide, the more details the attorney can use to build a solid defense. 

Get professional help 

If this is not your first time facing charges for an OWI, you might want to get treatment. Enroll in a substance abuse treatment program and get counseling so you can overcome addiction. Bear in mind the courts might require you to get counseling and treatment. However, being proactive and enrolling in them on your own before sentencing can have a positive impact on your case’s outcome. 

OWI charges are serious and can be difficult for you to manage on your own. Consider the potential impact a conviction can have on your life. Stay calm, rational and take measures to minimize them.

Your attorney's experience can make all the difference when your future is on the line. Learn how attorney Jeffrey Kippa can help you move forward.

Call 920-733-1100