Even if the accuser chooses not to press charges, the state may decide to pursue matters on its own. The result? Criminal proceedings that the victim wouldn’t have chosen and that the defendant doesn’t deserve.
Our domestic violence lawyers have extensive experience in handling sensitive domestic violence matters appropriately and effectively. We are a leading local criminal defense law firm with a reputation for favorable results in even the most complex and high-stakes defenses. That’s what makes us the right choice for representing people accused of domestic violence in Wisconsin.
Even when two people deeply love each other, an argument may spiral out of control quickly. If you add alcohol or drugs to the mix, romantic partners may find it difficult to control their tempers. Still, if an argument becomes physically violent, there is a good chance someone is going to the Dane County jail.
In Madison, police officers have a legal duty to make an arrest for many domestic violence calls. Still, under Wisconsin’s mandatory arrest law, the arresting officer must be certain some elements exist to support the arrest.
The first element requires the officer to have probable cause to believe someone committed a crime. Rather than having just suspicion, the officer must have evidence that would cause a reasonable person to believe the individual violated the law.
The second element in Wisconsin’s mandatory arrest law indicates the altercation must involve a domestic relationship. The following relationships qualify as domestic under state law:
The third element addresses domestic abuse. For officers to have a legal requirement to arrest the suspect, the suspect must have done one or more of the following:
The fourth element requires the officer to have proof the aggressor caused a physical injury. If not, the officer must have a good faith belief that a physical injury is likely to occur in the immediate future.
Finally, officers have a legal obligation to arrest a suspect if all other elements are present and someone filed a report within the previous 28 days.
While officers have a legal duty to arrest someone following many domestic violence calls, there are often ways to avoid the many negative consequences that typically come with a conviction. Ultimately, following an arrest, closely examining both the law and the facts of the incident is usually advisable.
To talk with a lawyer about the charges you face, call Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C. at 608-471-5003 or contact us online for a free 30 minute initial and confidential consultation about your situation.