Robert T. Ruth has been a Wisconsin intimidation of a victim defense lawyer since 1993. There are many potential challenges to a Wisconsin intimidation of a victim charge, so it pays to retain an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense attorney to defend you.
Madison Intimidation of a Victim Defense Lawyer
Wisconsin has a misdemeanor and felony intimidation of a victim law. The misdemeanor crime of intimidation of a victim in Wisconsin in a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 9 months jail and a $10,000 fine. The misdemeanor offense is defined as follows:
940.44. Intimidation of victims; misdemeanor
Except as provided in s. 940.45, whoever knowingly and maliciously prevents or dissuades, or who attempts to so prevent or dissuade, another person who has been the victim of any crime or who is acting on behalf of the victim from doing any of the following is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor:
(1) Making any report of the victimization to any peace officer or state, local or federal law enforcement or prosecuting agency, or to any judge.
(2) Causing a complaint, indictment or information to be sought and prosecuted and assisting in the prosecution thereof.
(3) Arresting or causing or seeking the arrest of any person in connection with the victimization.
Misdemeanor intimidation of a victim is a common charge in a domestic case where someone grabs the phone from the alleged victim who is about to call the police.
What is important to keep in mind about the offense of intimidation of a victim is that it does not stand alone. To prove intimidation of a victim under WI criminal law sec. 940.44, the state must first prove that the alleged victim was the victim of a crime. If no other crime occurred, or if you are found not guilty of any other alleged crimes, there can be no intimidation of a victim. The state also needs to prove that the defendant acted knowingly and maliciously.
Arrested for Intimidation of a Victim
In a domestic situation, most arrests for intimidation of a victim include a trip to the jail. If the arrest only involves misdemeanor charges, you will have a chance to post a bond that night. If you cannot post bond or the arrest includes a felony, you have to sit in jail until you appear before a judge to set bond.
The officer may inform you of a 72 hour no contact provision. This means that you may not have any contact with the person identified on the form for 72 hours. To have any sort of conduct contrary to this order is a separate crime.
The first court is called the initial appearance. You usually receive a complaint at the initial appearance that tells you what you are charged with and the basic facts alleged in the case. The judge also set bond conditions at the initial appearance. You will have an opportunity to be heard on the proposed bond conditions. If the judge sets a signature bond, previously posted money will be returned.
No Contact Order
In many domestic cases the prosecution asks for a bond condition that prohibits contact with the alleged victim. If you have a no contact order, even if the alleged victim is a spouse or lives in the same house, you bear the burden of staying away from the person. Call criminal defense lawyer Robert T. Ruth at 608-257-2540 for a free consultation if you need a Madison intimidation of a victim defense attorney in any Wisconsin court.