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Home » Criminal Defense FAQ » Sex Crimes FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Sex Crimes

If you are facing sexual assault charges, you probably have many questions regarding what to expect. At Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., we understand how serious these charges are and the long-lasting effect they can have on your life. We regularly talk to clients in the Madison area regarding their questions about sexual assault issues. These questions include:

Can I avoid the sex offender registry?

Every state has a registry to track people accused of certain sex crimes. Ours is called the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry. If you have certain convictions on your criminal record, the law requires you to register at least annually with local law enforcement. With the help of a skilled attorney, you may be able to petition the court to stay off the registry. The circumstances allowing this are narrow, however, and you will need an experienced attorney’s guidance.

Can I fight my sex crime charge?

Absolutely, and you should. We understand that you may feel as if you have already been rendered guilty just by the accusation of a sex crime. But you are not guilty under the law until a jury convicts you, and you do have defenses available to you. Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C. has an impressive success record handling sexual assault cases. Call us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how we can help you.

What if I was falsely accused of a sex crime?

Unfortunately, false accusations happen all too often. A skilled criminal defense attorney knows how to find the holes in false allegations. The sooner you involve an attorney, the better your chances at a successful defense. To learn more about what to do when you are falsely accused, read our article on the subject.

What is the age of consent in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin’s age of consent for intercourse is 18, and for consensual sexual touching short of intercourse, it is 16. If you are 18 or older and have consensual sex with someone between 16 and 18, you have committed a misdemeanor offense commonly referred to as statutory rape. Sex of any type with a child under 16 is a felony offense.

What are the penalties for sexual assault in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin recognizes four degrees of sexual assault, first degree being the most serious. Penalties vary by degree, but range from a possible nine months in jail and/or a $10,000 fine for a fourth-degree misdemeanor conviction up to a possible 60 years in prison for a first-degree conviction. In addition, a first-degree charge involving a child under 13 who suffers bodily injury during the assault can carry the penalty of life in prison.

How soon should I call a lawyer?

The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better your chances for resolving the situation in your favor. Even if you suspect you are under investigation, a skilled criminal defense attorney can help guide you. Never speak to the police without legal representation. Sexual assault charges can have life-long consequences. Do not face them alone.

Is sexting illegal in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin does not have a specific law targeting sexual pictures and messages sent via mobile devices or computers, but will aggressively apply child pornography laws to any pictures involving minors, whether created by the minor, forwarded to friends or sent to the minor. Child pornography laws are harsh and a conviction can land you on the sex offender registry.

Still Have Questions?

We are ready to answer your questions about sexual assault and related crimes. Call 608-616-4495 or send us a message today to schedule a free 30-minute initial consultation.