Tag: sexual assault criminal defense

The term “sexual violence” encompasses a range of actions that violate someone’s trust or safety and involve sexual intent. This category includes both physical acts and non-physical acts. Physical acts of sexual violence can include forced sexual intercourse or unwanted touching. Non-physical acts of sexual violence can include secretly watching someone (voyeurism) or exposing oneself inappropriately.

In Wisconsin, “sexual assault” is the catchall legal term for all illegal sexual activities and acts of sexual violence. Its meaning is outlined in Wisconsin law and covers various actions considered illegal and punishable under the law.

How Does Wisconsin Law Define Sexual Assault?

Wisconsin’s sexual assault law classifies four different degrees of sexual assault, each with specific conditions and penalties:

  • Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault: This is a Class A misdemeanor. Fourth-degree sexual assault involves sexual contact without consent.
  • Third-Degree Sexual Assault: This is a Class G felony. Third-degree sexual assault includes sexual intercourse without consent.
  • Second-Degree Sexual Assault: This is a Class C felony. It is sexual contact or intercourse without consent involving the use of force or threat or causing injury or mental anguish needing psychiatric care. It could also include nonconsensual sexual contact or intercourse with a person who cannot understand or resist due to mental illness, intoxication, unconsciousness, or who is a patient in certain facilities. It also includes assault by correctional staff on inmates and by probation, parole, or supervision agents on individuals under their supervision.
  • First-Degree Sexual Assault: This is a Class B felony. It includes forced sexual contact or intercourse without consent that results in pregnancy or great bodily harm or that involves a dangerous weapon. It also includes assault aided by others or against a person 60 or older.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Assaulted in Wisconsin?

If you have been the target of sexual assault in Wisconsin, remember that what happened is not your fault, and there are resources available to support you. Here are some steps you can take to protect your safety and rights:

  • Preserve Evidence: Avoid showering, changing clothes, or cleaning up until after you have undergone a medical examination. This helps in preserving crucial evidence.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Visit a doctor or a hospital as soon as possible, even if you do not have visible injuries. Medical professionals can provide necessary care, check for hidden injuries, and collect important evidence through a forensic examination.
  • Consider Reporting the Assault: It is your right to report the assault to the police, but this not a decision you necessarily have to make now. You can always have a forensic exam and decide later about reporting.
  • Contact a Lawyer: Consider speaking with a lawyer who handles sexual assault cases. They can advise you on your rights and options and assist you if you choose to pursue legal action.
  • Reach Out for Support: Connect with a local sexual assault service provider for counseling and guidance. Wisconsin has numerous organizations dedicated to helping sexual assault survivors.

Contact a Sexual Assault Injury Attorney in Wisconsin

At J. Kippa Law, LLC, we understand that talking to a stranger can feel overwhelming after a traumatic event like sexual assault. But taking that first step can be a courageous move toward healing and justice.

Our commitment is to stand by your side, help you understand your rights, and explore the best legal options available to you.

We believe in empowering our clients through respectful, compassionate, and confidential legal assistance. Contact us today to learn more about your rights in an initial case review.

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.

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.

 

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