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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

 
 


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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.

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Sexual Assault Attorneys
Sex Crimes Lawyers

 

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

 

  • WI Sex Crimes Overview
  • Sexual Assault of a Child Minor
  • Sex Offender Registration

Waukesha Milwaukee Sexual Assault Attorneys
Sex Crimes Lawyers

WI Sex Crimes

Don't let a sexual assault charge ruin your life. Get the experienced legal defense you deserve!

If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is crucial that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Sex crimes are by far the most vigorously prosecuted and harshly punished crimes in Wisconsin. A conviction can result in severe penalties, including many years in prison, large fines, and the added humiliation of having to register as a sex offender.

Attorney Sydne French represents clients charged with all types of sex crimes, from date rape to child molestation, and violent sex crimes (all forms and classes of sexual assault) to consensual sexual acts such as statutory rape. Attorney French's background in clinical and research psychology (in child, adult, and forensic populations) makes her particularly skilled at detecting false allegations commonly associated with sexual assault crimes.  Whether the motivation underlying the false accusation is to gain advantage in divorce and custody proceedings, or simply due to vindictiveness, Attorney French has the background and experience to expose the true nature of these allegations. 

Being charged with a sex crime can be a humiliating experience. We want you to know that we are not here to judge you.  When you become a client of ours, we will fight to defend you, and we will take measures right away to protect your rights—no matter what the charges.

We want you to know you are not alone in this. We put our clients' best interests first every time. We want them to feel as though they are our only client, because they deserve the very best. And so do you.

Give us a call or send us an email today to schedule a free no hassle consultation in our Waukesha office or Milwaukee office.

 

Child Sexual Assault
Sex With A Minor

As much as we'd like to think a minor would never lie about something so serious as a sexual assault, the fact is that false allegations occur far more frequently than people might think.  It is not uncommon for adolescent girls or boys to make up stories about their parents, or other adults with whom they are angry for some reason.  Sometimes, the minor may have a crush on an adult in the family or neighborhood, or a teacher at school, and they tell their friends about having sex with this adult to get attention or to seem older than they are.  Other times, a child will make false accusations in retaliation to a father or step-father's seemingly harsh disciplinary actions.  Either way, once false statements/stories are told by a minor, it sets off a chain reaction in the system. 

We have what is called a "mandatory reporting" system, which requires that all such accusations made by a minor are taken seriously and investigated by law enforcement.  Once a minor makes this type of allegation, it doesn't take long before things become very serious and criminal charges are filed.  Once this happens, it becomes very difficult for the minor to admit their accusations are not true.

The most common sexual assault charges involving a minor include, but are not limited to, the following:

1st Degree Sexual Assault Of A Minor Child (Child Under 13)

Under Wisconsin law, first degree sexual assault of a child is defined as any contact of a sexual nature with a person who is under the age of 13 years.

First degree sexual assault of a child is a Class B Felony subject to 60 years in prison.

2nd Degree Sexual Assault Of A Minor Child (Child Under 16)

Under Wisconsin law, second degree sexual assault of a child is defined as any sexual contact with a person who is older than 13 years but less than 16 years.

Second degree sexual assault of a child is a Class C Felony subject to imprisonment for up to 40 years, fines up to $100,000, or both.

Sexual Assault Of A Child (Child Over 16 Years)

Sexual assault of a child who is at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old is a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a possible sentence to jail for 9 months, fines up to $10,000 or both.

Repeated Acts Of Sexual Assault Of A Child, Same Child, Repeated Acts

If the victim alleges that more than one act of sexual assault occurred, the State may bring charges for repeated acts of sexual assault of the same child.  The "repeated acts" criminal charge requires proof that the sexual assault that occurred happened to the same child, and on more than one occasion.  Prosecutors like this crime because the statute for this particular criminal charge eliminates the need for the State to prove at trial the exact dates the sexual assaults allegedly occurred.

 

If you have been charged with sexual assault of a child, you need an aggressive, experienced lawyer to defend you right from the start.  Attorney Sydne French has won hundreds of serious criminal cases of all types.  She is known for negotiating significantly reduced charges/penalties and dismissals. Contact us today to schedule a free initial analysis of your case in our Waukesha office or Milwaukee office.  We can also schedule a consultation by phone if you like.  Whatever is most convenient for you!

WI Sex Offender Registration

We've provided the following information in response to the most common questions related to this topic.  Please keep in mind, however, that sex offender registration is a serious and complicated matter.  Whether any person will be required to register as a sex offender after conviction depends on a great many things.  You should consult with an experienced criminal attorney to understand how the following information will affect your case in particular.

What violations are classified as a sex offense?| Who is required to report?| How long is a person required to report?| What are the exceptions?|

What violations are classified as a sex offense?

Not all offenses qualify as a "sex offense" under Wisconsin Statute Section 301.45.  A sex offense under this section must be either a violation, or the solicitation, conspiracy, or attempt to commit a violation, of any of the following charges:

redarrow 940.225(1) First degree sexual assault
redarrow 940.225(2) Second degree sexual assault
redarrow 940.225(3) Third degree sexual assault
redarrow 940.22(2) Sexual exploitation by a therapist
redarrow 944.06 Incest
redarrow 948.02(1) First degree sexual assault of a child
redarrow 948.02(2) Second degree sexual assault of a child
redarrow 948.025 Engaging in repeated acts of sexual assault of the same child
redarrow 948.05 Sexual exploitation of a child
redarrow 948.051 Trafficking a child
redarrow 948.055 Causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity
redarrow 948.06 Incest with a child
redarrow 948.07(1)-(4) Child enticement
redarrow 948.075 Use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime
redarrow 948.08 Soliciting a child for prostitution
redarrow 948.085 Sexual assault of a child placed in substitute case
redarrow 948.095 Sexual assault of a child by a school staff person or a person who works or volunteers with children
redarrow 948.11(2)(a)(am) Exposing a child to harmful material or harmful descriptions narrations
redarrow 948.12 Possession of child pornography
redarrow 948.13 Child sex offender working with children
redarrow 948.30 Abduction of another’s child
redarrow 940.302(2)(a)1.b. Human trafficking if the trafficking is for the purposes of a commercial sex act
redarrow 940.30 False imprisonment if the victim was a minor and the person who committed the violation was not the victim’s parent
redarrow 940.31 Kidnapping if the victim was a minor and the person who committed the violation was not the victim’s parent

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Who is required to report?

Pursuant to Wis. Stat. §301.45(1g), a person is required to comply with reporting requirements if, by December 25, 1993 he or she meets any of the following qualifications:

redarrow is convicted of a sex offense
redarrow in prison or on supervision for a sex offense or a comparable WI law
redarrow is found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, and is committed civilly under §51.20 or under §971.17 for a sex offense
redarrow is in institutional care or on conditional transfer under §51.35(1) or conditional release under §971.17 for a sex offense or a comparable WI law
redarrow is on supervision in this state from another state under §§304.13(1m), 304.135, or 304.16 for a violation of another state’s law that is comparable to a sex offense
redarrow is a juvenile in this state on or after May 9, 2000, and is on supervision in this state from another state pursuant to §938.988 for a violation of another state’s law that is comparable to a sex offense
redarrow is placed on lifetime supervision based upon his or her status as a serious sex offender under §939.615 on or after June 26, 1998
redarrow is in institutional care or on supervised release under ch. 980 on or after June 2, 1994
redarrow is ordered by the courts to comply with the reporting requirements of §301.45
redarrow was required to register under §301.45(1)(a), 1997 stats., based on a finding that he or she was in need of protection or services and is ordered to continue complying with the requirements of this section by a court acting under 1999 Wisconsin Act 89, section 107(1)(e)
redarrow is, on or after December 1, 2000, registered as a sex offender in another state, or with the FBI, and is a resident, student, or is employed in Wisconsin
redarrow has committed a sex offense in another state, and; on or after December 1, 2000, is a resident, student, or employed in Wisconsin, and; no more than 10 years has passed since the date he or she was released from prison / placed on parole

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How long is a person required to report?

According to Wis. Stat. §301.45(5)(a), a person is required to report under §301.45 for 15 years after the discharge of his or her probation or extended supervision for the sex offense, in most circumstances and for most sex offenses.   In some situations, however, a person is required to report for the rest of his or her life.

The circumstances requiring a lifetime reporting requirement are listed in Wis. Stat. §301.45(am) and (b), including:

redarrow Serious sex offenders as defined in §939.615
redarrow A person who has 2 or more convictions for a sex offense
redarrow First degree sexual assault
redarrow Second degree sexual assault
redarrow First degree sexual assault of a child
redarrow Second degree sexual assault of a child
redarrow Engaging in repeated acts of sexual assault with the same child
redarrow Sexual assault of a child placed in substitute care
redarrow A sexually violent person under ch. 980
redarrow Court ordered compliance until death

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What are the exceptions?

There are exceptions to the mandatory reporting requirement.  One is not required to comply with reporting requirements if ALL of the following apply:

redarrow The individual meets the criteria under 301.45(1g)(a)-(dd)64 based on a violation of one of the following: First degree sexual assault of a child, Second degree sexual assault of a child, Engaging in repeated acts of sexual assault of the same child, Sexual assault of a child placed in substitute care
redarrow The violation did not involve sexual intercourse by use of threat of force or violence or with a victim under the age of 12 years
redarrow At the time of the violation the person had not attained the age of 19 years and was not more than 4 years older or younger than the child
redarrow It is not necessary, in the interests of public protection, to require the person to comply with the reporting requirements

 

It is important to keep in mind,  however, that although one may not be required to report, a judge may nonetheless order a person to report, under certain circumstances (see below).

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Discretionary Sex Offender Registration

The information provided thus far has addressed the circumstances under which one is mandated to report to the sex offender registry. However, as has been mentioned, there are also situations where a court may, in its discretion, order registration at sentencing. Pursuant to Wisconsin statutes section §973.048(1m), violations of the following may be considered for discretionary registration:

Ch. 940 Crimes against life and bodily security
Ch. 944 Crimes against sexual morality
Ch. 948 Crimes against children
942.08 Invasion of privacy
943.01-.15 Certain crimes against property

A court may require a person to comply with the reporting requirements of §301.45 if a court determines that the conduct underlying one of the crimes listed above was sexually motivated and that it would be in the interest of public protection to have that person register. “Sexually motivated” is defined in §980.01(5) as “one of the purposes for an act is for the actor’s sexual arousal or gratification or for the sexual humiliation of degradation of the victim.” To determine whether registration would be in the interest of public protection, the court may consider any of the following:

The ages of the person and the victim at the time of the violation
The relationship between the person and the victim
Whether the violation resulted in bodily harm to the victim
Whether the victim suffered from any mental illness or mental deficiency
The probability that the person will commit other violations in the future
Any other factor the court determines may be relevant

Under this section, the court may also remove a person from sex offender registry.  For example, a person may be convicted of 4th Degree Sexual Assault of a Minor (a misdemeanor), sentenced to a withheld sentence, and placed on probation for 2 years.  The judge may then impose the sex offender registry, but will agree to take the person off registry when the person successfully completes probation without any substantial rules violations.

 

 

Portions of this information were derived from the Wisconsin Prosecutor's Sexual Assault Reference Book, published and distributed by the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, Oct. 2009.

 

 

 

Attorney French has devoted her practice to defending people who are under investigation for, have been charged with, or convicted of, criminal or drunk driving offenses.  She handles cases across southeastern and northeastern Wisconsin, frequently covering Brookfield, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Jefferson, West Bend, Fond du Lac, Winnebago, Outagamie, Oconto, Waupaca, Waushara, Washington, Manitowoc, Madison, and Brown counties.

 


 

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