Misdemeanor, Substantial and Felony Battery Lawyers in Madison
What is Misdemeanor Battery?
Wisconsin law defines battery as causing bodily harm to another intentionally and without the other person’s consent, this includes causing harm to an unborn child. In Wisconsin, battery is classified as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on how severe the injuries are to the victim.
To be convicted of a misdemeanor battery charge in the state of Wisconsin the following elements must be proved:
- The defendant caused bodily harm to the victim
- The defendant intended to cause bodily harm to the victim
- The defendant caused bodily harm without the consent of the victim
- The defendant knew that the victim did not consent
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.
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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
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.
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
- 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.
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 Milwaukee battery defense lawyers listen to every detail of your case, discuss your options, and explain what to expect going forward.