Under Wisconsin law, battery is a criminal offense that is defined as any act that intentionally causes another person bodily harm without his or her consent. This encompasses a wide range of situations, from those involving minor injuries to the infliction of injuries with severe, permanent effects. Charges may also be different depending on the identity of the person who was injured. If you have been charged with battery, it can be difficult to know the severity of the penalties you may face based on the circumstances. An experienced defense attorney can help you understand the nature of your charges and work to make sure you avoid unnecessary consequences.
Penalties Vary Depending on the Severity of Injuries
There are three main levels of battery in Wisconsin, which are defined as follows:
- Simple battery refers to a case in which the victim suffers any bodily harm, no matter how minor. This could include cuts, bruises, or pain, for example. Simple battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious form of misdemeanor in the state, with possible penalties including 9 months of imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.
- Substantial battery refers to a case in which the victim suffers substantial bodily harm, which may include fractured and broken bones or teeth, concussions, temporary loss of consciousness, burns, and injuries that require stitches. Substantial battery is a Class I felony, with penalties including 42 months of imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.
- Aggravated battery refers to a case in which the victim suffers great bodily harm, meaning injuries that are life-threatening or that result in permanent disfigurement or impairment of bodily functions. At minimum, aggravated battery is a Class H felony, resulting in up to $10,000 in fines and six years of imprisonment. However, if the offender is found to have intended great bodily harm, aggravated battery can be charged as a Class E felony, with fines up to $50,000 and imprisonment of up to 15 years.
The same definitions apply if the injury victim is an unborn child. Additionally, if the victim is someone considered to be at risk of great bodily harm, such as a person of age 62 or older or a person with a physical disability, the offender can face felony charges even for causing minor injuries.
Contact a Milwaukee, WI Battery Defense Attorney
As you can see, battery cases often involve complicated questions of intent, cause, and the seriousness of the injuries suffered. An experienced attorney can make a significant difference when it comes to whether you are convicted at all and the severity of the consequences you may face. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we are committed to ensuring our clients are treated fairly under state law, and we are ready to take your case. Contact a Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer today at 414-271-1440.