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"Sydne was very informative and made me feel at ease from the moment we first met. I would definitely recommend her to anyone who may find themselves in a similar situation as I." Former OWI client

"Sydne was always available to answer every question I had throughout the entire process, but most importantly she worked not just for me, but with me. I feel like this was the difference between just being a client, and being her client. " R.E.

Attorney Sydne FrenchI try to take a personal interest in every person who calls me for help. I do my best to make sure they do not feel like they are just a case number or just another "defendant." I make the time to really listen to their side of things, their perspectives, and their concerns. I do my best to stay in touch, and I welcome my clients to do the same. They know they can call me 24/7 and that I am there for them 100%.

"Sydne's commitment to her clients,
to the ideal of justice, and to the goal
of zealous representation is unparalleled.
" Keith Findley, President, International Innocence Network; Co-Director, Wisconsin Innocence Project


Winner of the Baldwin Award for Excellence in Criminal Law
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Hundreds of Cases Won

We are passionate about what we do and it shows.  We have earned  a solid reputation for negotiating significantly reduced charges, penalties, and dismissals while aggressively defending our clients against the power and resources of the State.

Visit our News Room and take a look at some of the results we have achieved for our clients.  You'll see why we are one of the most well respected criminal and drunk driving defense firms in Wisconsin.


The Law Offices of
Sydne French

200 South Executive Drive
Suite 101
Brookfield, Wisconsin 53005

  250 East Wisconsin Avenue
18th Floor
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Contact Us

Disorderly Conduct
Domestic Abuse

The Law Offices of Sydne French
Aggressive Defense Against the Power & Resources of the State


  • WI Disorderly Conduct Laws
  • Domestic Abuse Incidents: Arrest & Prosecution
  • Disorderly Conduct - Domestic Abuse Cases Won by Us

Disorderly Conduct Attorneys
Domestic Abuse Lawyers

WI Disorderly Conduct Laws

The Wisconsin disorderly conduct statute is one of the most problematic statutes on the books. Prosecutors love these charges because they believe they are relatively easy to prove. The statute contains a laundry list of the types of conduct that fall under its wide net.  The law doesn't even require that the conduct causes a disturbance, only that the conduct "tends" to cause a disturbance.

Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 947 defines disorderly conduct as follows:

whoever, in a public or private place, engages in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under circumstances in which the conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

Disorderly conduct can be charged out as a criminal misdemeanor or as a simple forfeiture/fine only.  Unfortunately, there has been a growing trend among prosecutors across the State of Wisconsin to prosecute disorderly conduct as a crime. And If the charge involves an incident with a romantic partner or someone you live with, the prosecutor will likely add a domestic abuse penalty enhancer to the disorderly conduct charge, increasing the seriousness of the consequences.

*    *    *

A disorderly conduct conviction can have long term effects on a person's livelihood and future earning potential.  Unfortunately, most people do not believe disorderly conduct charges are that serious so they attempt to represent themselves.  When this happens, they typically find prosecutors are inflexible in their resolve to obtain a conviction.  They are surprised to find the courts are unsympathetic and often find themselves facing jail time, and fines, and other collateral penalties.

If you have been arrested for a criminal misdemeanor disorderly conduct, or a criminal disorderly conduct-domestic abuse charge, you have some tough consequences to face.

You are not alone in this.  We are here to help you, all the way from start to finish.  We are ready to go to work defending your rights so that you can get back to your life.  Contact us today to schedule a free no hassle consultation in our Waukesha office or Milwaukee office.


Domestic Abuse Incidents: Arrest and Prosecution

intentional infliction of physical pain, physical injury, or illness
intentional impairment of physical condition
sexual assault
a physical act that may cause the other person reasonably to fear imminent engagement in the conduct described above

To qualify as domestic abuse under the statute, the alleged victim must be one of the following:

a spouse or former spouse
an adult with whom the person resides or formerly resided
an adult with whom the person has a child in common

Police are required to arrest and take a person into custody if:

The officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is committing or has committed domestic abuse and that the person's actions constitute the commission of a crime, AND

Any of the following apply:
the officer has a reasonable basis for believing that continued domestic abuse against the alleged victim is likely

there is evidence of physical injury to the alleged victim

the person is the predominant aggressor

A predominant agressor is defined as the most significant, but not necessarily the first, person to be aggressive in a domestic abuse incident.  Police are not required to identify a predominant aggressor; however, if they do, the law provides that it is inappropriate for police to arrest both parties—even in situtations where the alleged victim was the first aggressor.

When identifying one of the parties as the predominant aggressor, the law requires that police officers consider all of the following factors:

The history of domestic abuse between the parties, if it can be reasonably ascertained by the officer, and any information provided by witnesses regarding that history.
Statements made by witnesses.
The relative degree of injury inflicted on the parties.
The extent to which each person present appears to fear any party.
Whether any party is threatening or has threatened future harm against another party or another family or household member.
Whether either party acted in self-defense or in defense of any other person.





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