Felony Child Abuse Charge Dropped
Prosecutors in Dane County charged our client with child abuse after the client got into physical altercation with his teenage son. A neighbor witnessed the event and called police. When law enforcement arrived on scene, our client admitted to punching his child, but said he did so only after the teen charged at him. Our attorneys recognized the client had a self-defense claim and discussed the potential defense with the client and the prosecution. Before trial, Attorney Verhoff engaged in settlement discussions with the assistant district attorney and reached an agreement to resolve the case short of a trial. The client had two options: he could go to trial on the felony charge and raise self-defense, but risk a conviction. Or he could avoid a trial and agree to be convicted of the lowest-level crime in Wisconsin, a disorderly conduct charge. Under terms of the agreement, the client would not be required to go on probation, serve any jail time, or pay any fines. He would only be required to pay statutory court costs. Our client decided to settle his case and avoid the risk of a felony conviction at trial, which would have had a significant impact on his career. Although the client was convicted of disorderly conduct, this case is an an example a situation that we, and our client, consider to be a victory.