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Fourth degree sexual assault charges carry lifelong consequences.  Hire a top defense attorney to help mitigate them.

Although fourth degree sexual assault is the most mitigated sex crime charge in Wisconsin, a conviction for this offense certainly carries serious, lifelong consequences.  For example, the simple fact of a conviction for something titled “sexual assault” could carry consequences related to the stigma attached to sex charges in the United States.

A fourth degree sexual assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor.  That means the maximum penalty attached to this offense is 9 months in jail, $10,000.00 in fines, or both.  A fourth degree sexual assault charge does not require the defendant register as a sex offender.  While this charge is certainly a far cry from the 60 year maximum penalty of a 1st degree sexual assault charge, it’s certainly still serious.

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. our criminal defense attorneys focus 100% of their representation on criminal charges.  That means we regularly work on sexual assault and homicide charges.  We’re specialists.  We don’t handle non-criminal cases.  And that certainly works for your benefit.  To speak with someone at Meyer Van Severen, call us at (414) 270-0202 immediately.  Let’s start fighting your case.

What is fourth degree sexual assault?

Section 940.225(3m) of the Wisconsin Statutes defines fourth degree sexual assault:

Except as provided in sub. (3), whoever has sexual contact with a person without the consent of that person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

The subsection (3) specifically references third degree sexual assault.  That charge focuses on sexual contact stemming from ejaculation, or emission of feces or urine.  That charge is certainly more serious.  The statute simply seeks differentiation from the more-mitigated fourth degree offense.

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What about the elements?

If you’ve been to court and watched various proceedings, perhaps you’ve heard reference to the elements of an offense.  Elements are parts of a crime.  The government must prove each of the parts beyond a reasonable doubt.  And finally, if the government fails to satisfy that burden for each element, the prosecution fails.

Wisconsin criminal jury instruction 1219 defines fourth degree sexual assault: sexual contact without consent.  The government must prove:

  • Firstly, that the defendant had sexual contact with the victim; and
  • Secondly, that the victim did not consent to the sexual contact.

Finally, what is sexual contact?  Sexual contact is an intentional touching by the defendant of an intimate part of the victim.  The touching may be of the intimate part directly, or it may be through clothing.  Lastly, the touching may be done by any body part or by any object, but it must be intentional.

Intimate parts includes the breast, buttock, anus, groin, scrotum, penis, vagina, or pubic mound of a human being”  (Wis. Stat. sec. 939.22(19).

How do we defend fourth degree sexual assault charges?

Fourth degree sexual assault charges carry with them specific issues we need to deal with while defending you.

First, did you make any kind of a statement to police?  Frequently the first step law enforcement officers take, after arresting you, is to bring you into an interrogation room.  There they’ll almost certainly start questioning you about the allegations lodged against you.  Importantly, it’s usually our advice for you to not make any statements to law enforcement in this situation.  While we’d like to believe cops are trying to find the truth, they’re likely just trying to build a case against you.  Admitting to conduct or confessing to a crime makes that easier.

If you made a statement, we’ll determine whether it hurts you.  If the statement hurts you, your case, or our ability to defend it, we’ll need to check into a few other issues.  First, did police properly mirandize you?  Second, even if they properly read you your rights, were you forced to waive them?  And finally, did you provide a false confession?  While this isn’t an exhaustive list of legal issues, it’s the start of what we’ll look at.

Finally, are there other issues for us to file?  Was there a search conducted of your home, automobile, or office?  Certainly looking at the search warrants and determining whether they’re valid is an important next step.

Outside of motion practice, you always maintain your right to jury trial.  If you’re not guilty, that’s always one of our final options to defend you.

man arrested for fourth degree sexual assault
Fourth degree sexual assault charges in Wisconsin are misdemeanors. Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. to begin fighting your case. (414) 270-0202

Does fourth degree sexual assault require that I report on the sex offender registry?

The sex offender registry is a public catalog including the name, arrest charges, and convictions of individuals who’ve committed certain sex offenses in Wisconsin.  This catalog is available online and is certainly accessible by members of the public.  Having your name end up in the sex offender registry is absolutely a miserable conclusion to a criminal case.

Thankfully, fourth degree sexual assault convictions do not require sex offender registry.  But we must absolutely keep this potential consequence in mind while defending your charges.  Prosecutors don’t like going to try unless they have to.  There’s certainly a chance they’ll threaten higher sexual assault charges if there’s a basis to do so.  And they’ll do that to avoid trial.

Finally, why hire Meyer Van Severen, S.C. to defend my criminal case?

The answer here is simple: this is all we do.  And we’re good at it.  While every sex crime case is different, and requires different strategies, our criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience.  We spend every day fighting the government to ensure fair results for our clients.  We certainly don’t handle divorce work.  And we aren’t involved in any kind of commercial litigation.  We dedicate literally 100% of our practice to criminal defense.

Finally, call us.  Our criminal defense attorneys return phone calls 24/7.  The police arrest individuals on the weekend and holidays.  Prosecutors certainly draft criminal complaints on those dates, so why shouldn’t your defense attorney also be working?  At Meyer Van Severen, you’ll certainly find that we do.  We focus on providing individuals representation from the very best sexual assault defense attorneys near them.

Call us at (414) 270-0202.  Let’s start fighting your case.