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In Madison, Wisconsin, penalties for battery range from a misdemeanor (a fine not to exceed $10,000 and/or a prison term of 9 months or less) to a felony (penalties reaching 15 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine).

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Penalties for Felony Battery in Wisconsin

Class I Felony Battery Charges and Penalties

Class I felony battery, also known as substantial battery; means the defendant caused substantial bodily harm (not just bodily harm) with intent and without consent. Substantial bodily harm refers to:

  • Lacerations requiring stitches or staples
  • Bone fracture
  • Broken nose
  • Broken or lost tooth
  • Concussion or temporary loss of consciousness, hearing or sight
  • Burns
  • Anything that requires hospitalization

A substantial battery charge is a Class I felony and is punishable by up to 3.5 years in prison, and fines up to $10,000.

Class H Felony Battery Charges and Penalties

Class H felony battery, also known as aggravated battery; causes great bodily harm with intent and without consent. Great bodily harm refers to:

  • Substantial risk of death
  • Serious and permanent disfigurement
  • Loss of use or impairment of an organ or appendage

Aggravated battery is a Class H felony and is punishable by up to 6 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

Class E Felony Battery Charges and Penalties

Class E felony battery differs from Class H felony battery in the intent. Wisconsin defines aggravated battery as:

  • Intentionally cause bodily harm to a person
  • Cause great bodily harm by an act intended to cause mere bodily harm, or
  • Intentionally cause more bodily harm by an act that creates a significant risk or death, or permanent disfigurement.

This is the most serious felony battery charge and carries penalties up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $50,000.

In any battery case, the severity of the charge depends on what happened to the victim and what the defendant’s intentions were at the time. 

Penalties for Misdemeanor Battery in Madison and Dane County

Misdemeanor battery is a Class A misdemeanor; your specific sentence will depend on a number of factors. Maximum penalties include:

  • Up to 9 months in jail
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Increased jail sentence (up to 6 additional months) for using or threatening to use a weapon

What is Misdemeanor Battery? 

“Whoever causes bodily harm to another by an act done with intent to cause bodily harm to that person or another without the consent of the person so harmed is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.” (Wisconsin Statute 940.19(1))

In Wisconsin, Class A Misdemeanor Battery is defined as causing bodily harm to another person, including an unborn child, intentionally and without the other person’s consent. In order to be convicted of Misdemeanor Battery the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant caused bodily harm to the victim
  2. The defendant intended to cause bodily harm to the victim
  3. The defendant caused bodily harm without the consent of the victim
  4. The defendant knew that the victim did not consent

Misdemeanor battery lawyer in Madison WI

When evaluating these elements, Madison defense attorneys will carefully examine the definitions of “cause,” “bodily harm” and “intent” for your specific situation. “Cause” means that the acts of the defendant were a substantial factor in producing the bodily harm of the victim. “Bodily harm” is defined as any physical pain, injury, illness or impairment of the physical condition. And “intent” suggests the defendant had the mental capacity to know their actions would cause bodily harm.

Domestic abuse is a common example of misdemeanor battery and fights that result in bruises, cuts or scrapes.

In Wisconsin, threatening bodily harm is included in the battery statutes. If the misdemeanor battery is committed while using or threatening the use of a dangerous weapon, the penalties can increase to include jail time. Under Wisconsin law, dangerous weapons include firearms, Tasers, knives, objects used to suffocate or strangle, and anything intended to be used as a weapon.

While assault is not a separate crime in Wisconsin, battery and assault are often interchanged as vocabulary for the same type of offense. When evaluating the elements of the charge, it is important to understand and keep in mind the legal definitions of many of the terms used. “Cause” means that the acts of the defendant were a substantial factor in producing the bodily harm of the victim. “Bodily harm” is defined as any physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. “Intent to cause bodily harm” means that the defendant had the mental purpose to because bodily harm to another human being or at the very least was aware that the conduct was almost certain to cause bodily harm to the victim.

You are only guilty if you are convicted™

Defending Against Misdemeanor Battery Charges in Madison

In some situations, the act of force may be considered self-defense. If you believe you were defending yourself against a possible attack, you will have the opportunity to present your side of the situation to the judge. Self-defense is permitted if:

  • The defendant believed there was an actual or imminent unlawful interference with the defendant’s person
  • The defendant believed the amount of force the defendant used or threatened was necessary to prevent or terminate the interference
  • The defendant’s beliefs were reasonable

Statute of Limitations for Misdemeanor Battery

Under Wisconsin Statute 893.57, the statute of limitations for battery is 3 years. The clock for the statute of limitations starts on the date of the incident and once the time runs out, it cannot be prosecuted, so you can’t be charged or sued.

If you’ve been charged with battery don’t face the legal system alone. An experienced Madison criminal defense attorney knows how to defend against these charges. Get an award-winning Grieve Law attorney who will do everything possible to get your charges reduced or dropped.

What is Felony Battery?

In Wisconsin, battery is defined as causing bodily harm to another person intentionally, and without the other person’s consent. This also includes causing harm to an unborn child. Battery is classified as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries.

A felony battery conviction is punishable by a prison sentence and a permanent mark on the defendant’s record. In Wisconsin, there are three levels of felony battery depending on the severity of the injuries caused.

Free Legal Consultation from Madison Misdemeanor and Felony Battery Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been accused of misdemeanor battery or worse, our top-rated defense lawyers can reduce the charges or get them dropped entirely. Grieve Law LLC’s misdemeanor defense lawyers have a reputation for winning. When you come to your free legal advice consultation, our Madison battery defense lawyers listen to every detail of your case, discuss your options, and explain what to expect going forward. 

How long will a battery conviction be on my record?

A conviction of assault or battery will remain on your record for life. This can also cause issues with firearm rights if it is domestic abuse related. While there are certain circumstances where expungement may be available, that is not always the case. The best way to avoid lifelong consequences is to challenge the case and beat a conviction all together.

How to beat a battery assault charge in Madison

Legal Defenses for Misdemeanor Battery

One of the main defenses for battery is self-defense. Self-defense is permitted if:

  1. The defendant believed there was an actual or imminent unlawful interference with the defendant’s person. 
  2. The defendant believed the amount of force the defendant used or threatened to use was necessary to prevent or terminate the interference. 
  3. The defendant’s beliefs were reasonable. 

If you have been charged with battery, you will want a criminal defense attorney who knows what they’re doing and knows how to defend against these charges. You want an award-winning attorney who will do everything possible for your case and defend it the best way possible. Our Madison office (located just off the Beltline) serves Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, McFarland, Middleton, Stoughton and all Dane County communities.

 

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Tom Grieve, the firm's managing attorney and founder, is a former state prosecutor and is not the only ex-prosecutor at the firm. We love hiring attorneys from both sides of the wall to bring as many perspectives to fight your case as aggressively as possible. The State of Wisconsin likes it when you choose the run-of-the-mill fee to plea™ lawyers who don't even know how to analyze and defend cases instead of experienced criminal attorneys:

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