Domestic Violence Laws

Since the passage of Act 348 in 1987, the Wisconsin state government has been working hard to address the issue of domestic violence. New regulations and training programs for police officers focus on strict enforcement of domestic violence law. Here is some important information about our state’s law:

Domestic violence” is legally defined as one or more of the following offenses, committed by an adult against his or her current partner, or a person with who he or she shares a child:

  • Intentional infliction of injury or illness.
  • Intentional impairment of physical ability.
  • Any form of sexual assault.
  • A physical act that causes the other person to reasonably fear for his or her safety.

Wisconsin law considers domestic disturbances to be “must arrest” situations if the following conditions apply:

  • The officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed assault as defined by state law, and
  • There is evidence of physical injury to the alleged victims, or the officer has reason to believe that continued abuse against the alleged victim is likely.

Unlike some states, Wisconsin does not require the alleged victim to press charges in order for the accused abuser to be arrested. It is left up to the discretion of the police officers who arrive at the scene. Police are trained to focus on documenting every incident to help abuse victims build a legal case.

Unfortunately, domestic disputes can be complex situation with many deeply personal factors. It can be very difficult for police, as uninformed outside observers, to understand who, if anyone, is truly the abuser in any situation. If you have been charged with a domestic violence offense, you need a dedicated attorney to protect your rights. Contact Milwaukee domestic violence defense attorneys Kohler Hart Powell, SC at (414) 271-9595.