Domestic Violence Law Office Serving Milwaukee & Surrounding Areas
The attorneys at Hayes & Rothstein, are committed to restoring your rights, your residence, and your clean record. This and more are in jeopardy if you've been arrested for Domestic Violence. Consider this scenario:
Perhaps you and your girlfriend were recently having a discussion. You had different points of view. The argument got more heated. She said she wanted to leave but she didn't have a vehicle so she asked to take your car. You said that wasn't a good idea because she'd had a couple of drinks and you didn't want her getting arrested for operating under the influence. The argument then got louder. She then said if you didn't let her take your car she would call the police. You saw her reach into her purse to get her cell phone at which point you grabbed her arm and told her this would not be a good idea. You told her the police would probably arrest both of you. She slapped at you with her free hand and when you let go of her other arm she began swinging at you with both arms. You grabbed both of her arms to prevent her from hitting you. She struggled to get loose. You were afraid that if you let go she would begin swinging again. You then heard a knock of the door but before you could respond two police officers walked in indicating that a neighbor had called the police because she heard a lot of yelling and screaming from your apartment and she had heard you making threats although she couldn't recall the exact words. The police separate you and your girlfriend and take statements from each of you. You are then handcuffed, arrested and taken to jail. One officer advises that you have been arrested for domestic violence battery and domestic violence disorderly conduct. The other officer says that your girlfriend told him that you threw her cell phone on the floor and it was no longer working so the DA may also issue a charge for domestic violence criminal damage to property. The officer further says that you wouldn't let her leave the residence so the DA might decide to charge you with domestic violence false imprisonment.
You spend the next two days in the county jail before appearing before a court commissioner or judge who releases you on signature bond with an order that you have no contact with your girlfriend or with any place she resides which includes your apartment where she was living, according to the statement she provided to the police. The commissioner or judge disregards your statement that your girlfriend actually has her own apartment where she had been staying from time to time and where she certainly could reside and that you have no other place to stay.
Every year in Wisconsin there are over 25,000 reports of domestic violence, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Many of them involve some or all of the above facts.
Your Livelihood, your Reputation, and your Right to Possess a Firearm are in Jeopardy
You may be concerned about:
- How a jail sentence or probation would affect your livelihood
- Future relationships following the circumstances of your case appearing on Wisconsin Circuit Court Access and other public records
- A potential lifetime ban against ownership or possession of a firearm which includes a ban on hunting.
Federal Firearms Law
In 1996, Congress extended the prohibition on gun possession to persons convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. See 18 United States Code Section 922(g)(9). A criminal conviction for disorderly conduct, even if there is no reference in the criminal complaint to a domestic violence enhancer under Sec. 968.075(1)(a), Wis. Stats., will result in federal law enforcement taking the position that there is a lifetime ban if the facts set forth in the complaint, which form a basis for the conviction, support the conclusion that there was a domestic relationship. Koll vs. Department of Justice, 2009 WI App. 74. ___ Wis.2d ___, 769 N.W.2d 69, citing United States vs. Hayes, 555 U.S. 415, 129 S.Ct. 1079, 172 L.Ed.2 816.
You Need Strong Advocacy
Strong advocacy may include:
- Filing a motion to obtain records and admit evidence of prior incidents with you or others where your girlfriend made false accusations or engaged in violent acts.
- Filing a motion to bring to the jury's attention evidence from the medical or psychiatric history of your girlfriend to show that there is reason to doubt her ability to perceive and relate truthful information.
- Motion to strike the domestic violence enhancer because the proof does not meet the statutory requirements.
Your best recourse may be a jury trial where the State is required to prove by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt all elements of the offense.