Being charged with a crime of domestic violence can turn a relationship or a family’s world upside down by pulling a parent, spouse, or child out of the home. Often, clients come to us with no prior police contact and are confused because they cannot go home, cannot see their children, and are charged with a crime for the first time. Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas can help you navigate this complicated area of law, including presenting arguments to the court to allow contact while the case is pending, negotiating a reduction of charges to improve the potential outcome, or taking the case to jury trial. We apply our experience in domestic violence cases to help you determine what route fits with your case and goals.
Call Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas today to find out how we can help you navigate the complicated area of domestic violence court to preserve your rights.
WISCONSIN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE ATTORNEY
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE A FELONY?
Domestic violence is not a charge, but rather a charge classification reflecting the relationship between the accused and the complaining witness – such as spouses, those who live together, or have children in common. If the criminal charge attached to the domestic violence enhancer is a felony offense, it is.
CAN I GO TO JAIL FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Yes, it is a possibility. A domestic violence case filed in a Wisconsin circuit court is either a criminal misdemeanor or felony offense, both of which can result in a jail sentence. A domestic violence case filed in a Wisconsin municipal court is a non-criminal civil ordinance violation. In either situation, you can face unanticipated ramifications from a conviction, including a lifetime loss of your gun rights.
CAN I GET PROBATION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Yes, probation is an option for the judge at sentencing; however, the judge will not always find it appropriate. The maximum period of probation for each misdemeanor domestic violence charge is 2 years. By hiring Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas, our attorneys can guide you through the process, from requesting it at sentencing through successful completion.
WHAT DOES A NO-CONTACT ORDER MEAN?
A no-contact order means that you cannot have contact with any and all of the people identified by the order. This can include the complaining witness, the complaining witness’s residence, children, or others present at the time of the alleged offense. No contact requires just that. So, if one of the people you are ordered not to have contact with calls you – you must hang up the phone without saying anything. If they text you, you cannot text back. If they show up to a place where you are, you must leave. If you lived with the person prior to the no contact order, you must find somewhere else to stay until the order is cancelled or changed by the court. You also cannot ask someone, such as a mutual friend, to give the complaining witness a message from you. If you have contact, you could be charged with additional crimes.
DOES A NO-CONTACT ORDER ONLY MEAN THE 72-HOUR ONE WHEN I WAS ARRESTED?
No, there are several kinds of no-contact orders. A 72-hour no-contact order can be requested by a complaining witness at the time the accused is arrested; a violation of this order can result in up to 9 months in jail, a $10,000 fine, or both. Wis. Stat. § 968.075(5)(a)2. You could face up to 2 years in jail if there is a new allegation of a crime during that 72-hour period. If criminal charges are filed, a court commissioner or judge can also make a no-contact order as a condition of release from custody. If you violate the court’s no-contact order, you could be charged with additional crimes and your bail could be revoked, causing you to be taken into custody. These are also different from a no-contact order as a result of a restraining order, also referred to as an injunction; a violation can also result in criminal charges.
IF I’M ARRESTED FOR OR CONVICTED OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN I LOSE MY GUN RIGHTS?
If you are arrested for a domestic violence related offense, the Court can restrict your right to possess a firearm while the case is pending, however, a simple arrest does not result in a permanent lose of your gun rights. However, a conviction for a domestic violence related criminal offense would result in a permanent lose of your right to possess a firearm. Call us if you are facing a domestic violence related offense. The attorneys at Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas have the knowledge and experience to help protect your rights in these situations. For example, we successfully argued that our client who was subject to a domestic violence harassment restraining order should not permanently lose his right to possess a firearm. We also have experience negotiating outcomes to domestic violence cases that result in a conviction that allows our client to retain their gun rights.
FOLLOWING ARE A SAMPLE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES:
Battery, Substantial Battery, Mayhem, Strangulation, False Imprisonment, Disorderly Conduct, Criminal Damage to Property, Restraining Orders, Violating a Restraining Order, Stalking, Harassment, Physical Abuse of a Child, Domestic Violence Counseling & Treatment Assessments.