How to Handle a Sexual Assault Charge in Wisconsin

Updated by Attorney Stangl on April 17, 2020

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In today’s culture, being accused of a sexual offense usually comes with a “guilty until proven innocent” response from the public. Convictions often carry heavy penalties and consequences that affect your everyday life, even long after any formal punishments come to an end.

Mandatory registration as a sex offender, comparatively large fines, and mandatory minimum jail sentences are commonly associated with sex offenses in Wisconsin, as well as the rest of the country.

If you’ve been accused of a sex offense in Madison, Wisconsin, it’s crucial you have a full understanding of both the charges being levied against you, and what you need to do next to protect yourself.

Below, we've outlined some of the most common sex offenses in Wisconsin along with steps to take if you face conviction in Wisconsin. If you’ve been accused of another sexual crime not listed here, contact us today to learn more about the penalties you risk facing and how we may be able to help.

If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault, rape or another such crime in Wisconsin, Stangl Law Offices, S.C. can provide a confidential and free consultation at no obligation to discuss your case. Click or tap the button below to get started now.

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The Penalties for Sexual Assault in Wisconsin

Also referred to as “sexual battery,” sexual assault is classified a felony under Wisconsin statute 940.225.

In Wisconsin, laws were put in place to protect strangers, peers, and married couples equally, so no matter your relationship to others involved, charges almost always remain the same.

First Degree Sexual Assault in Wisconsin

Sexual contact or intercourse without consent that causes pregnancy or great bodily harm. First degree also includes crimes committed through threats of violence which may or may not involve a deadly weapon.

Penalty: This is a Class B felony carrying up to 60 years in prison. If the victim was under 13 years of age, you can face a lifetime prison sentence. Get help now »

Second Degree Sexual Assault in Wisconsin

Second degree sexual assaults includes nonconsensual sexual contact or intercourse that causes moderate injury, illness, or mental harm. This also includes sexual contact with those who are incapable of giving consent. Instances of assault by specialized caregivers is classified as second degree sexual assault in Wisconsin.

Penalty: This is a Class C felony with fines of up to $100,000, up to 40 years in prison, or both. Get help now »

Third Degree Sexual Assault in Wisconsin

Third degree sexual assault includes other non-consensual sex and acts of ejaculating, defecating, or urinating, on another person.

Penalty: This is a Class G felony with fines of up to $25,000, up to ten years in prison, or both. Get help now »

Fourth Degree Sexual Assault in Wisconsin

Fourth degree sexual assault includes other types of non-consensual sexual contact short of intercourse. This includes groping or fondling.

Penalty: This is a Class A misdemeanor with fines of up to $10,000, up to nine months in jail, or both. Get help now »

Read Also: Sex Offender Registration in Wisconsin: Know the Basics

Possible Defenses for Sexual Assault Charges in Wisconsin

Many sexual assault charges hinge significantly on whether or not consent was established.

Questions often arise to determine what constituted consent in the case as well as what constitutes refusal.

The question of when “No” means “No” can often bring complicated matters into light that can make what seems to be and open and shut case more complex.

If you're hesitant to discuss the details of your case due to the sensitive nature of the charges you're facing, understand the more information you can share with an experienced criminal defense attorney, the better job he or she can do with your defense. 

The First Step After Being Accused of Sexual Assault

No matter what legal situation you find yourself in, sexual assault charges can carry far-reaching and long-term penalties which can permanently affect your everyday life.

To ensure you’re in position to protect yourself with every resource available to you, it’s crucial to secure experienced legal council as soon as possible.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys can evaluate your charges completely, advise you on the potential penalties you face based on the strength of the prosecution’s position, anticipate strategies, and develop a defense approach that give you the best chance at a favorable outcome.

If you've been charged with sexual assault, or another sexual offense in Wisconsin, contact an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense attorney right away to start exploring options for your defense.

Wisconsin Sexual Assault Defense Attorney

Attorney Patrick J. Stangl is committed to protecting the rights of his clients and providing the best possible defense. In practice since 1991, Attorney Stangl understands how devastating it can seem to clients who find themselves facing criminal charges of a sexual nature, and maintains a professional and confidential manner when discussing such cases.


If you've been charged with rape, sexual assault or any other sexual crime in Wisconsin, Attorney Stangl can provide for your a free and confidential consultation at no obligation to discuss the charges you're facing and explore options for your defense.

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A Sampling of Attorney Stangl's Sexual Defense Victories for Clients in Wisconsin: 

State of Wisconsin v. C.A. Rusk County

Child Enticement – Dismissed

State of Wisconsin v. T.P. Rusk County

Sexual Assault to a Child – Dismissed – Expunged

State of Wisconsin v. J.O. Dane County

Sexual Assault – Amended to Disorderly Conduct

State of Wisconsin v. R.B. Marquette County

Sexual Assault – Dismissed

State of Wisconsin v. N.M. Dane County

Sexual Assault – Amended to Civil Forfeiture

Read about more Stangl Law victories and client testimonials.

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Topics: Other Criminal Charges, Sexual Crime Charges



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