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When Can a Person Be Charged With Domestic Battery in Wisconsin?

 Posted on April 06, 2023 in Criminal Law

Waukesha Domestic Battery Defense Attorneys

When accusations of domestic violence occur, there are multiple ways that a person and their family can be affected. Someone who is arrested based on these accusations may face multiple types of criminal charges, including domestic battery. This is a serious crime under Wisconsin law, and it can have significant consequences for the accused. Being charged with domestic battery can result in severe penalties, including jail time, and accusations of domestic abuse can have a significant impact on a person's personal and professional life. It is essential for criminal defendants to understand the factors that can lead to criminal charges, the specific crimes they are accused of, and the consequences of a conviction.

Battery, Substantial Battery, and Aggravated Battery in Wisconsin

Under Wisconsin law, domestic abuse is defined as intentionally causing injuries or physical pain to a spouse or former spouse, an adult who lives in the same home or previously resided with the alleged perpetrator, or the other parent of a person's child. It may also involve committing an act of sexual assault against a person or threatening or intimidating them in a way that causes them to fear that they will suffer bodily harm.

While domestic abuse accusations may lead to multiple different criminal charges, one of the most common offenses that is charged in these situations is domestic battery. Wisconsin law details several different levels of battery offenses that are based on the harm that was allegedly inflicted on a victim:

  • "Simple" battery involves the intentional infliction of bodily harm on a person, and it is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. A person who is convicted of this offense may be sentenced to up to nine months in prison and fined up to $10,000.

  • Substantial battery involves the infliction of substantial bodily harm, which includes cuts or lacerations that require stitches, fractured bones, burns, concussions, loss of consciousness, loss of a tooth, or temporary loss of vision or hearing. Substantial battery is a Class I felony, and a conviction may result in a sentence of 3.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

  • Aggravated battery involves the infliction of great bodily harm in which a person is permanently disabled or disfigured or placed at a significant risk of being killed. The specific charges will depend on the intent of the alleged perpetrator. If a person intended to inflict bodily harm, they may be charged with a Class H felony, and if they are convicted, they may be sentenced to up to six years in prison and fined up to $10,000. However, if a person intended to inflict great bodily harm, they may face Class E felony charges. A Class E felony conviction may lead to a 15-year prison sentence and a $50,000 fine.

In some cases, increased charges may apply for those who are considered repeat offenders. A "domestic abuse repeater" is defined as someone who commits a subsequent act of domestic abuse within 72 hours of being arrested for domestic abuse or a person who was convicted of domestic abuse on two separate occasions within the previous 10 years. In these cases, an additional two years may be added to the sentence of a person who is convicted of domestic battery.

Contact Our Waukesha Domestic Battery Defense Attorneys

Domestic battery charges can have significant consequences. If you have been accused of domestic abuse, or if you have been arrested for domestic violence, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure that your rights will be protected during your case. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, our Pewaukee domestic violence defense lawyers can provide you with strong, effective legal representation and help you determine the best defense strategy based on the unique factors in your situation. Contact our office at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation.


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