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Incest cases are serious.  Contact a top Milwaukee criminal defense attorney to fight your case.

Incest charges are serious.  They’re serious because the charge is a Class F felony.  But they’re also serious because of the stigma attached to such charges.  Simply being arrested for an offense called incest could impact you socially, professionally, and legally.

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we regularly defend individuals facing sex crime convictions.  Incest cases are no exception.  Our entire practice focuses on criminal charges.  We don’t represent individuals in any non-criminal context.  This constant focus on criminal law allows us to better defend individuals in your position.

This charge is a Class F felony, meaning the maximum penalty is 12.5 years prison.  The maximum term of initial confinement is 7.5 years in prison.  The maximum term of extended supervision is 5 years.  These serious penalties certainly indicate exactly how seriously prosecutors consider these cases.

Finally, the aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. are ready to fight your case.  Contact us at (414) 270-0202.  Let’s start fighting your case.

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What is incest?

Section 944.06 of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits incest: sexual intercourse between blood relatives.  The law indicates:

Whoever marries or has nonmarital sexual intercourse, as defined in s. 948.01 (6), with a person he or she knows is a blood relative and such relative is in fact related in a degree within which the marriage of the parties is prohibited by the law of this state is guilty of a Class F felony.

Section 948.01(6) of the Wisconsin Statutes defines sexual intercourse:  “Sexual intercourse” means vulvar penetration as well as cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse between persons or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the genital or anal opening either by the defendant or upon the defendant’s instruction. Finally, prosecutors need not show the defendant emitted semen.

Finally, some sexual assault charges include sexual contact as a basis for the charge.  Incest charges cannot be based simply on sexual contact.  Prosecutors certainly must abide by the higher requirement of sexual intercourse.

What are the elements of this offense?

All crimes in Wisconsin have elements.  Prosecutors must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt.  Think of an element as a part.  Unless the prosecutor shows each part of the crime is present, the crime hasn’t occurred.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1532 provides the elements of the offense:

  • Firstly, the defendant had sexual intercourse with the victim; and
  • Secondly, the defendant knew the victim was related to him or her by blood; and
  • Finally, the victim was related to the defendant in a degree of kinship closer than second cousin.

Originally, the jury instructions applied to incest offenses involving father and daughter.  Because of the format of the statute, in 2007 the committee changed the instruction to focus on blood relation.

Kinship closer than second cousin?

This restates the requirement of the statutory definition that refers to “related in a degree within which the marriage of the parties is prohibited by the law of this state.”  Section 765.03 of the Wisconsin Statutes provides that “… no marriage shall be contracted … between persons who are nearer in kin than second cousins…”  The statute relies on Black’s Law Dictionary for a definition of second cousins: “A person related to another by descending from the same great-grandfather or great-grandmother.”

What does all this mean?  Section 765.03 of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits second-cousins from marrying.  Black’s Law Dictionary defines second-cousins.  Incest occurs if the sexual intercourse occurs between two family members at least related as second cousins.

How do we win my incest case?

All criminal cases rely on credibility.  The credibility of the alleged victim is the most important.  Our criminal defense attorneys have attacked the credibility of victims to the extent that prosecutors have dismissed charges against our clients.  That’s a huge win.  A dismissal based on the prosecutor’s inability to prove a case avoids a lot of risk.  It’s risky to go to trial. It’s even risky to accept a plea to a reduced charge. All of those things rely on the subjective decisions of another human being.  A dismissal doesn’t do that.  The case is done.

Secondly, we’ll evaluate your case for any potential pre-trial motions.  Depending upon the type of pre-trial motion, a resulting victory could result in anything ranging from the suppression of evidence, to a complete dismissal of your case.  We’ll check into motions regarding the search warrant, motions dealing with credibility like Shiffa Green, and all other motions relevant to your case.

Contact the sexual assault defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C.

Our criminal defense attorneys focus 100% of their practice on defending individuals accused of criminal charges.  Certainly we defend incest cases, and regularly defend cases involving sex crimes.  And we defend incest cases involving children.

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we understand the issues you’re dealing with.  There’s a chance your friends, family, or co-workers are alienated from you based on the charges.  Certainly the stigma attached to incest charges will have an impact on those relationships.  Right now you need an ally that will fight for your rights.

Contact one of our criminal defense attorneys immediately.  And if you’re still not sure, check out our client testimonials.  We regularly achieve great results for clients, and those testimonials prove that.  Contact us at (414) 270-0202.