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When is Battery Charged as a Felony Crime in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Criminal Law

Waukesha County criminal defense attorney for battery charges

Crimes of violence are taken rather seriously in the state of Wisconsin. Even crimes like battery, which is sometimes less serious than other violent crimes, are charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Being convicted of battery can be a serious crime, especially when it is charged as a felony. Not all battery crimes are charged as felonies. In general, battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which comes with a potential sentence of up to nine months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. In many cases, battery crimes are charged as various felonies, which can vary in severity. 

“Bodily Harm” Versus “Great Bodily Harm”

One of the easiest ways your battery charge can be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony is by the amount of damage that is inflicted upon the victim and the perpetrator’s intent. Wisconsin law states that a misdemeanor battery crime is characterized by a person causing “bodily harm.” However, if a person is found to have inflicted “substantial bodily harm,” the charge is elevated to a Class I felony with a potential sentence of up to 3.5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Likewise, a person can be charged with a Class H or Class E felony if they caused “great bodily harm” and they intended to cause some sort of harm. Class H felonies come with up to six years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, while Class E felonies come with up to 15 years in prison with up to $50,000 in fines.

Offenses Based on Special Circumstances

In some cases, a battery is automatically considered a felony because of the circumstances surrounding the incident. For example, a person can be charged with a Class I felony if they intentionally cause harm to a public officer performing their duties or if they cause harm to a person who has requested a protective order against them. They could be charged with a Class H felony if they were a prisoner who injured another person, if they intentionally injured a firefighter, nurse or healthcare worker, probation officer, or juror.

Contact an Oconomowoc, WI Battery Crime Defense Attorney

Depending on the circumstances of your case, a battery charge could become very serious very quickly. If you have been charged with battery or any other type of violent crime, you should speak with a skilled Waukesha County battery crime defense lawyer. At Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we will help you form the strongest defense possible to prove your innocence. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 262-232-6699.

 

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/940/II/19

 

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/939/IV/50

 

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