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Third degree sexual assault charges can send you to prison.  Hire an expert criminal defense attorney.

Third degree sexual assault charges are serious mid-level felonies that can send you to prison.  Because of the similarities between first degree sexual assault, second degree sexual assault, and third degree sexual assault, frequently prosecutors threaten additional charges unless you enter a plea to the charge.  And while such threats might encourage an inexperience criminal defense attorney to cower, at Meyer Van Severen that doesn’t happen.  Collectively our criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience fighting all sex crime and rape charges.  We’ve certainly dealt with difficult prosecutors and won’t cower in the face of threats.

Third degree sexual assault is a Class G felony.  Class G felonies in Wisconsin carry maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, $25,000.00 fines, or both.  The prison sentence breaks into a maximum of 5 years initial confinement and 5 years extended supervision.  These heightened penalties indicate exactly how serious prosecutors consider these charges.

And at Meyer Van Severen, our criminal defense attorneys certainly consider them serious.  That’s why we dedicate 100% of our practice to criminal charges.  We’re certainly specialists and focus on time on defending charges just like yours.  Finally, if you’re looking to speak with one of our top criminal defense lawyers, contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202.

What is third degree sexual assault in Wisconsin?

Section 940.225(3) of the Wisconsin Statutes describes third degree sexual assault.  The law indicates:

(a) Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person without the consent of that person is guilty of a Class G felony.

(b) Whoever has sexual contact [involving penile ejaculation, emission of feces, or emission of urine with the purpose of sexually degrading or sexually humiliating the victim] with a person without the consent of that person is guilty of a Class G felony.

The law is certainly straightforward.  For example, if the defendant forces the victim to have sex without his or her consent, he’s guilty of 3rd degree sexual assault.  And in another example, if the defendant ejaculates onto the victim, without consent, he or she is guilty of the charge.

Finally, you’ll notice that the definition of this crime is similar to that found in second degree sexual assault.  The only difference is that second degree charges require the defendant used threat of force or violence, or caused some kind of injury, illness, diseases, or impairment to the victim.

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What are the elements of this offense?

Like all criminal charges in Wisconsin, the government must prove certain elements of the offense before conviction.  Elements are “parts” of the crime.  And unless the government satisfies its burden of proof for all the elements, the defendant cannot be found guilty.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1218A provides the elements of third degree sexual assault:

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

Sexual intercourse means any intrusion, no matter how slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any object, in the the genital or anal opening of another.  Emission of semen is not required to show intercourse.

The elements describing third degree sexual assault: sexual contact without consent involving ejaculation, etc. are similarly as simple.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1218B provides those elements:

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

Sexual contact, in this circumstance, requires intentional penile ejaculation of ejaculate or emission or urine or feces by the defendant upon any part of the body clothed or unclothes of the victim.  Alternatively it requires the government show the defendant intentionally caused the victim to ejaculate or emit urine or feces on any part of the defendant’s body, whether clothed or unclothed.  Finally, sexual contact also requires that the defendant acted with intent to become sexually aroused or gratified, or sexual degrade or humiliate the victim.

man arrested for third degree sexual assault
Third degree sexual assault is a serious felony in Wisconsin. Contact the sex crime defense lawyers at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 for help.

What about consent?

Consent is always an issue we counter defending sexual assault cases.  Was there actually consent at the time the sexual encounter occurred?  Was it simply withdrawn after the act occurred?  Frequently we encounter this very issue in “buyer’s remorse” situations.  What we mean by that is simple: the “victim” simply regretted the fact that he or she had sex, or sexual contact, and looked for a way to cover it up.  The simplest way for someone to do exactly that is to allege she was raped.  If a rape occurred, nobody’s going to consider the fact that she cheated on her boyfriend.  And an allegation like that certainly covers the victim’s own repugnant behavior.

But, for our purposes, what is the actual definition of consent?  Consent, as used in this section, means words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.

How do we defend my third degree sexual assault case?

Your first step needs to be to contact aggressive, competent defense counsel that specialized in sexual assault cases.  At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we do exactly that.  Hiring an attorney that doesn’t know what he or she is doing is the biggest mistake a defendant makes on the front end.

Second, we compare the facts to the jury instructions.  Does the government even have a case?  If we believe the government will fail to satisfy any of the elements, likely we’ll begin to build a trial defense around that.

Finally, as we’re preparing for trial – do we have any motion issues?  For example, sometimes we’ll file something called a Shiffra Green motion.  That motion allows for us to get into the victim’s psychiatric records if they have some bearing on the case.  Those records could provide us a previously unknown defense to your charge.

What about the sex offender registry?

Unfortunately, a third degree sexual assault conviction will require you to register for sex offender registration.  This charge, along with many others, qualifies as a “sex offense” in section 301.45 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  Further, it qualifies as a “serious sex offense” under section 939.615 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  Because of that definition, upon a conviction you will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

This is yet another collateral consequence of a third degree sexual assault conviction.  Upon conviction you gain two labels: sex offender, and felon.  Let’s try to avoid that.

Why should I hire Meyer Van Severen, S.C.?

If you’ve read this entire page, you understand exactly how serious third degree sexual assault charges are.  If you lose your case, you’ll be labelled as a felon and sex offender for the rest of your life.  These labels are on top of the lofty incarceration you’re facing.  Our criminal defense attorneys understand these penalties.  We understand you’re facing the most difficult situation of your entire life.  And importantly, we care.

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. our criminal defense attorneys have decades of collective experience defending sexual assault charges.  We aggressively fight prosecutors and do our very best to achieve your goals.  We’ll file the motions, and proceed to the trials, to keep our clients free.  We focus on providing individuals representation from the very best sexual assault defense lawyers in Wisconsin.

Contact one of our criminal defense lawyers now at (414) 270-0202.  Let’s start fighting.