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Suspected Domestic Violence Victim Cannot Drop the Charges

Once a police officer arrives on the scene, they must arrest the person they perceive to be the dominant aggressor if they have reasonable grounds to believe that person is committing or has committed domestic abuse.

Law enforcement is bound by this law even if the other party does not want to press charges.

If you or someone you love is arrested for domestic abuse, call the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella immediately. We are available 24/7 to provide legal advice, guidance, and support for our clients.

Grounds for a Domestic Violence Arrest

The responding police officer must consider numerous factors before determining whether an arrest on domestic violence is warranted:

  • The history of domestic abuse between the parties (if it can be reasonably ascertained by the officer) and any information provided by witnesses regarding that history
  • Statements made by witnesses
  • The relative degree of injury inflicted on the parties
  • The extent to which each person present appears to fear any party
  • Whether any party is threatening or has threatened future harm against another party or another family or household member
  • Whether either party acted in self-defense or in defense of any other person under the circumstances described in s. 939.48.

An arrest does not necessarily occur during an incident. If the report is received within 28 days after the day the incident is alleged to have occurred, law enforcement can take an alleged abuser into custody.

After the Domestic Violence Arrest

Once arrested, the person will stay in jail until they can appear before a judge or post bail. Immediate release is prohibited. In the first 72 hours, the arrested individual can have no contact with the alleged victim, even after they have been released. Violating a no-contact order can result in fines up to $10,000 and 9 months in prison.

The other person involved in the incident might want to get the charges dropped, but they have no authority or power to do so. Only the state can issue criminal charges and only the state can drop them.

If you are the other party in a domestic abuse case, the best help you can provide is to retain skilled defense counsel. Even if you refuse to testify, the case can still be prosecuted using police reports, photographs, video evidence, witness statements, and your original statements.

Domestic Abuse Incidents in Wisconsin

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, there were almost 31,000 domestic abuse incidents in Wisconsin and nearly 22,000 arrests in 2018. The vast majority of arrests occurred at the time of the incident.

The most common charges filed against an alleged abuser were disorderly conduct and misdemeanor battery. More than one-third of domestic violence arrests in Wisconsin are never prosecuted.

Strategies to Fight Domestic Violence Charges

If you are arrested, do not speak any further to law enforcement officers. Contact Attorney Cherella right away.

Obey the 72-hour no-contact period. Making contact with the other person will only make matters worse and give prosecutors leverage to show you do not have good judgment and are dangerous.

The alleged victim can also weaken the prosecution’s case by helping the defense. Knowing the “victim” is helping the defense can persuade the district attorney’s office to drop the charges. A plea bargain to a lesser charge might be offered.

If the case goes to trial, the supposed victim can testify on behalf of the defendant, explaining how a situation was misread by witnesses.

When charges are not dropped, deferred prosecution is also a possibility. You must meet certain requirements and file reports of your compliance. If you successfully complete the conditions throughout the deferment period, the charges may be dismissed.

Count on experienced defense counsel when you need help fighting a domestic violence charge. After an arrest, contact our office right away. We’re available 24/7. Call (414) 882-8382.