Within the criminal justice system, almost nothing is more terrifying than facing a sexual assault charge. Not only can a first degree sexual assault charge carry stiff penalties of up to 60 years, but if a child is involved, an individual can be convicted of a Class A felony or a Class B felony, which could also carry a lifetime prison sentence.
A sexual assault charge, whether first degree sexual assualt (Class B felony) or fourth degree sexual assault (misedmeanor), a conviction can leave a defendants life in a state of upheaval. Birdsall Obear & Associates LLC is devoted to exceptional Milwaukee criminal defense. We defend individuals charged with sexual assault and sex abuse throughout all of Wisconsin.
To speak with a criminal defense attorney in Milwaukee or Sheboygan regarding your sexual assault charge, or any other criminal charge, contact us.
What is First Degree Sexual Assault?
The Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys at Birdsall Obear & Associates have decades of experience being the top sexual assault attorneys in Milwaukee and Sheboygan. A Class B felony for sexual assault can carry stiff penalties with a maximum of 40 years in prison.
The State must prove three elements in First Degree Sexual Assault, according to Section 940.225(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes:
Wisconsin penalty for First Degree Sexual Assault: 40 years (Maximum)
A first degree sexual assault offense focuses on sexual assault causing great bodily harm:
In Wisconsin, sexual contact is described as the intentional touching of the victim's intimate part by the defendant and has to be proven to be with purpose, whether to cause sexual arousal, gratification, to sexually humiliate the victim or cause bodily harm.
What is the definition of Sexual Intercourse according to law?
Sexual intercourse is defined as any intrusion into the genital or anal opening of another by any part of a person's body or object; this also includes oral sex.
In proving that the victim did not “consent", the State must show that the victim did not freely agree to have sexual contact with the defendant. This does not require that the victim offered physical resistance. The person only needs to say “no” or claim that they said “no.”
In defending a sexual assault case, the actions of both parties come into play. For example, a woman claiming rape who was drinking heavily, and acting very sexually toward you, and then voluntarily went with you, will not be easily believed on the matter of consent. The jury could conclude that under the circumstances, she did indeed give consent. The degree of harm is also a variable in sexual assault cases. What one juror finds to be a “great bodily harm” may be viewed by another as just “bodily harm” or even no harm.
What is Second Degree Sexual Assault?
The Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys at Birdsall Obear & Associates have decades of experience being the top sexual assault attorneys in Milwaukee and Sheboygan. A Class C felony for second degree sexual assault in Milwaukee carries penalties with a maximum of 25 years in prison.
The State must prove these ten elements in Second Degree Sexual Assault, according to Section 940.225(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes:
Wisconsin penalty for Second Degree Sexual Assault: 25 years (Maximum)
The state needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, each of the following:
Should the state be unable to prove all three, the defendant cannot be found guilty of the charges.
What is Third Degree Sexual Assault?
The Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys at Birdsall Obear & Associates have decades of experience being the top sexual assault attorneys in Milwaukee and Sheboygan. A Class G felony for third degree sexual assault in Milwaukee carries penalties with a maximum of 5 years in prison.
The State must prove these two elements in Third Degree Sexual Assault, according to Section 940.225(3) of the Wisconsin Statutes:
Wisconsin penalty for Third Degree Sexual Assault: 5 years (Maximum)
The main difference between second degree sexual assault and third degree sexual assault is the use of force, threat of force or violence.
What is Fourth Degree Sexual Assault?
The Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys at Birdsall Obear & Associates have decades of experience being the top sexual assault attorneys in Milwaukee and Sheboygan. A Class A misdemeanor for fourth degree sexual assault in Milwaukee carries penalties of 9 months in jail, $10,000 in fines or both.
Fourth Degree Sexual Assault, according to Section 940.225(3m) of the Wisconsin Statutes:
Sub (3) references third degree sexual assault, which focuses on sexual contact stemming from ejaculation, or emission of feces or urine.
Wisconsin penalty for Fourth Degree Sexual Assault: 9 months. A fourth degree sexual assault charge does not require the defendant register as a sex offender.
The state must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, each of the following:
What is Possession of Child Pornography?
Possession of child pornogaphy in Wisconsin is a Class D felony, which means if you're convicted, you could face 25 years in prison. The courts are required to sentence a defendant to a least three years initial confinement for each count. Don't face possession of child pornography charges on your own. We have decades of experience as the top criminal defense attorneys in Milwaukee and will do everything possible to secure a successful criminal defense.
The State must prove two elements for Possession of Child Pornography:
In addition, the statute requires that the following elements be met:
The experienced sex crime defense attorneys at Birdsall Obear & Associates have many defenses to such a charge, particularly with regard to digital images. Because digital images are so easily manipulated, even experts are often unable to determine if the images are real, or have been altered. For example, what appears to be a child could be an adult whose breasts have been reduced/eliminated, hips slimmed, and facial features altered (which can all be done with commercially available software).
Another defense is that the image does not show “sexually explicit conduct.” Even in Wisconsin, “mere nudity” is not enough. There must be an unnatural focus on sexual regions and it must appeal to sexual tendencies. This is difficult to get past judges and juries who view any pictures of naked children as “explicit.”
Often, the defense of this charge hinges on the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution: questioning whether the search and seizure of the items in question was lawful. This is because the images are often contained on computers or found as hard copies in storage spaces.
Use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime is a Class C felony in Wisconsin (948.075), and carries a penalty of 40 years in prison and a $100,000.00 fine. Our aggressive Milwaukee sex crime defense attorneys have worked many sexual abuse cases involving use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.
The state must prove four elements in this charge:
Despite widespread media coverage of undercover detectives posing as 14 year old girls, and the existence of a TV show dedicated to these same “sting” operations, this offense continues to be committed. The increasing focus of law enforcement on sex crimes in general has led to a rash of these cases in Wisconsin and nationwide. A defense to this charge can be as simple as denying any intention to have sexual contact as the “intention” element can be difficult to prove. Of course, the nature of the “chat” is usually at least somewhat sexual in nature and can be used against you. The stakes have risen dramatically however, with the passage in 2005 of a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence upon conviction.
The State must prove two elements for Sexual Assault of a Child:
Sexual contact is the touching of any part of your body, or any object you control, to any of the other persons “intimate parts” (breasts, penis, anus, buttocks or vagina). The State must show that this was done with the intent to gain sexual satisfaction or to humiliate the victim. The touching may be over or under clothing.
You cannot use the defense that you did not know the victim’s age, or that you mistakenly judged the victim’s age, thinking him/her to be older than he/she really was. Also, stating that an underage victim consented to have sexual contact/intercourse with you is not a viable defense as minors are considered legally incapable to give consent.
The charge changes to Second Degree Sexual Assault of a child if the child was 14-16 years old. From ages 16-18, it is a Fourth Degree Sexual Assault (a misdemeanor). A caregiver can also be charged with a felony for the failure to prevent such assaults if the caregiver knew that the abuse was occurring.
Sexual Assault of a Child is a highly sensitive offense that is falsely charged in many instances. Bathing, or playful contact such as a pat on the behind, can be misinterpreted as sexual contact. In bitter divorce cases, one parent might make powerful assault accusations to try to discredit the other parent and gain custody and placement rights.
Making such cases even more difficult is the fact that false allegations can become true in the child’s mind with repeated interviews by parents, police, prosecutors, social workers, and treatment professionals, who tend to reaffirm even false accusations to the point where the child actually believes that some incident occurred. This troubling phenomenon has sent many innocent people to prison.
In Wisconsin, you can be charged with child enticement without having committed a sexual act. This is a serious criminal charge and prosecutors can come at it from different angles. For example, if the defendant was giving or selling a controlled substance to a child, he/she could be charged with child enticement which is a Class D felony.
Our Milwaukee criminal lawyers have decades of experience defending child enticement cases and we know exactly how important it is to secure an aggressive criminal defense team. Contact Birdsall Law & Associates for your free consultation.
The state must prove three elements for Child Enticement:
This involves the “luring” of a child into a “secluded place” with the intent to have sexual contact, cause them harm, or give them drugs. This charge is commonly brought along with one for sexual assault of a child. In such a case, the child is almost certainly going to go into some room, car or building where the conduct takes place. It is significant to note that this can be charged as an “attempt” but carries the same penalty as the completed act (actually getting the child in the place). Normally, the penalty for an attempted crime is half of the completed act. This presents an opportunity for prosecutors since many actions by a person can be interpreted as “attempting” to “cause” a child to go into a certain place, to which evil intent can be ascribed.
Wisconsin penalty for Child Enticement: 15 years prison
HUMAN TRAFFICKING DEFENSE
Human trafficking, as defined in 940.302 of the Criminal Code of Wisconsin, is committed by one who knowingly engages in trafficking for the purpose of labor or services and/or a commercial sex act. “Services” means activities performed by one individual at the request, under the supervision, or for the benefit of another person. “Commercial sex act” means sexual contact for which anything of value is given to, promised, or received, directly or indirectly, by any person.
Wisconsin statutes define the trafficking of a child (948.051):
The state must be able to prove the following:
Our Milwaukee human trafficking defense attorneys are committed to providing a rigid human trafficking defense. Birdsall Obear & Associates has decades of experience in Milwaukee criminal defense. Contact us today for a free consultation.