Wisconsin Misdemeanor Battery Laws and Penalties
The below is intended for informational use only and does not constitute legal advice or an attorney relationship. If you are facing a criminal charge in Wisconsin please contact a defense lawyer for a free consultation.
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))
Class A Misdemeanor Battery means 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 be able to prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- 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 reviewing these elements, it is important to understand the legal definitions of several of terms. “Cause” means that the defendant’s act was a substantial factor in producing the bodily harm. “Bodily harm” means 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 was aware that his/her conduct was practically certain to cause bodily harm to another human being.
Examples of misdemeanor battery include domestic abuse or a fight resulting in bruises, cuts, and scrapes.
Misdemeanor battery using or threatening to use a dangerous weapon can be punished by a longer jail sentence. According to Wisconsin law, dangerous weapons include guns and firearms (loaded or unloaded), Tasers, knives, and any device used to suffocate or strangle. Any object used or intended to be used as a weapon, such as a beer bottle, can be considered dangerous weapons.
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Statute of Limitations for Misdemeanor Battery
Statutes of limitations set time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit or how long the state has to prosecute someone for a crime. These time limits vary from state to state and depend on the individual legal claim or crime. The time period begins on the date the crime or other incident occurs, and once the time period expires, the lawsuit cannot be filed and the defendant cannot be prosecuted. According to Wisconsin Statute 893.57, the statute of limitations for battery is 3 years. This means that you cannot be charged with misdemeanor battery for a fight you were involved in more than 3 years ago.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Battery in Wisconsin
Class A misdemeanor battery refers to causing bodily harm with the intent to cause harm and without the consent of the other person. The penalties for committing a misdemeanor crime vary depending on your prior criminal record and the laws in your area.Wisconsin misdemeanor battery is punishable by:
- 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
- Community service
Misdemeanor probation is a lighter sentence than jail time, allowing you to remain a free member of society, provided you follow certain guidelines chosen by the judge. You may be required to regularly check in with a probation officer and inform him or her of any changes in address, phone number, employment, or personal life. If you fail to follow these guidelines, the judge will hold a hearing and may extend the length of your probation, impose new guidelines, or even issue a jail sentence.
Legal Defenses for Misdemeanor Battery
There are affirmative legal defenses to the crime of Battery, namely Self-Defense. The law of Self-Defense allows the defendant to threaten or intentionally use force against another only if each of the following conditions are satisfied:
- 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 to use was necessary to prevent or terminate the interference.
- The defendant’s beliefs were reasonable.
If you have been charged with Misdemeanor Battery, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of success in the courtroom. There are important nuances in Misdemeanor Battery cases that can make or break your case, and you need a skilled advocate to navigate them properly.
Penalties for Felony Battery in Wisconsin
A felony battery conviction is punishable by a prison sentence and a permanent mark on the defendant’s record. There are three levels of felony battery depending on the severity of the injury caused.
Class I Felony Battery Charges and Penalties
Class I felony means the defendant caused substantial bodily harm (not just bodily harm) with intent and without consent. Substantial bodily harm refers to:
- Injuries requiring stitches or staples
- Bone fracture
- Broken nose
- Broken or lost tooth
- Concussion or temporary loss of consciousness, hearing, or sight
Class I felony battery is punishable by up to 3.5 years in prison, and fines up to $10,000.
Class H felony battery causes great bodily harm with the intent to cause harm. Great bodily harm refers to:
- Substantial risk of death
- Serious and permanent disfigurement
- Loss of use or impairment of an organ or appendage
Class H felony battery 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. With Class E, the defendant causes great bodily harm with the intention of causing great bodily harm.
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 alleged victim and what the defendant’s intentions were at the time.
Milwaukee Misdemeanor Battery Lawyers Provide Free Legal Consultations
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.
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