Casper Mehlos Law Group

is a forward thinking law firm.

Start Your Free Consultation

Battery Charges in Wisconsin

Dedicated Representation for Clients Accused of Violence

When someone is accused of causing physical harm to another individual, they can quickly find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Whether they’re facing charges related to simple assault, domestic violence, or felony battery – the deck is often stacked against them in the justice system. Criminal penalties can be severe even for seemingly minor offenses, but if someone sustains a bodily injury, outcomes can be even more disastrous. This is why you should speak with an attorney when facing battery charges in Wisconsin.

At Casper Mehlos Law Group, you’ll work with a criminal defense lawyer who’s dedicated to securing a favorable outcome on your behalf. Even if you’re facing misdemeanor battery charges – whose penalties the prosecutor may try to downplay to secure a conviction – it’s smart to seek out experienced legal services. Don’t simply take what police or prosecutors say at face value, and don’t trust your future in the hands of an overworked public defender. Our law firm offers free consultations, so there’s no risk in learning more.

Contact us today.

Is There a Crime if No Bodily Harm Occurs?

There are plenty of legal defenses for charges of battery in Wisconsin. Some people assume that no crime was committed if the alleged victim suffered no harm. After all, a serious physical injury can result in heightened charges – so shouldn’t no injuries at all result in no charges? Unfortunately for those facing criminal allegations, this isn’t how the system works. While the prosecutor may not be able to bring criminal charges related to battery, this doesn’t mean they can’t still charge you.

The mere striking of another person can be charged as simple battery in Wisconsin. This is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor. Conviction could result in nine months of jail time in addition to $10,000 in fines. However, keep in mind that certain elements could result in more serious charges. For instance, a domestic violence enhancer could be added if the alleged victim is a family member, spouse, former spouse, or other related individual. In fact, no physical contact is necessary in these instances.

Defendants are also likely to face more than a misdemeanor battery charge if their alleged victim falls into certain categories, discussed in more depth below.

What Types of Battery Could You Be Charged With?

Battery in Wisconsin is not a singular crime. Both charges and penalties can vary greatly based on the alleged attacker’s intent, the level of injury caused, and even the individual targeted. This section will not discuss domestic violence issues – as such matters go beyond the scope of traditional battery charges. However, certain charges can result in penalties that equal or even exceed domestic abuse sentencing guidelines. Any of the following will look much worse on a criminal record than simple battery:

Substantial Battery

Anyone who caused substantial bodily harm to another person can be charged with felony battery. Substantial battery is typically charged as a Class I or Class H felony. A Class I felony can result in 3.5 years in prison, but a Class H felony can lead to six years behind bars. A fine of $10,000 is possible in both cases.

Aggravated Battery

When someone is accused of inflicting great bodily harm on another individual, they can also face felony battery charges. Great bodily harm refers to injuries causing permanent disfigurement, permanent disabilities, or an extreme risk of death. Violent crimes involving a deadly weapon typically fall into this category. Defendants could face Class E felony charges, which could result in a fine of $50,000 and a prison sentence of 15 years.

Battery Targeting Certain Classes

The target of an alleged criminal assault can also result in heightened charges. For instance, it’s a Class H felony to attack a police officer. It’s a Class I felony to attack a driver or passenger in a public transport vehicle. Attacks against individuals who have active restraining orders against the attacker will result in a Class I felony. Criminal battery affecting an unborn child can also result in a Class E felony charge.

Could You Face Assault and Battery Charges in Wisconsin?

People often use the terms assault and battery interchangeably. In some instances, they’ll use the terms together (i.e., assault and battery charges). However, it’s important to note that these are two different legal concepts. An assault charge is typically levied if someone makes a threat of bodily harm. Their actions must make the target fearful that they’re facing imminent danger. However, no physical contact actually occurs during an assault – at least under most state laws.

However, there is no assault charge in Wisconsin. Even if a person is threatened and feels they’re facing imminent harm, there’s no law on the books that allows assault charges to be brought forward. However, the state can charge individuals who make such threats under other laws. These include:

  • Disorderly conduct: A person can face disorderly conduct charges if engaging in violent, indecent, profane, abusive, or other actions that could provoke a disturbance.
  • Attempted battery: This charge is typically only levied in certain circumstances – such as when a person is charged with sexual assault, robbery, or other serious crimes.
  • Recklessly endangering safety: This charge is levied when the defendant is accused of engaging in actions that recklessly endanger the safety of another person.
  • Domestic abuse: Actions that may be considered assault in other states can result in enhanced penalties when they target individuals such as spouses, former spouses, or family members.

As long as you’re in Wisconsin, there’s no chance that you’ll face assault and battery charges. However, you can still face very serious criminal penalties. Unfortunately, many people don’t even realize that what they’re accused of could result in a felony conviction. This is why far too many defendants agree to plea deals without first discussing their case with a Wisconsin battery attorney. Do not make this mistake. You deserve a strong defense with extensive knowledge of criminal law.

That’s what we offer at Casper Mehlos Law Group. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

How Can an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Help?

Allegations of attacking another person can lead to serious criminal penalties. Of course, such attacks don’t even need to have caused great bodily harm. If a reasonable person would believe that such actions could cause harm, the prosecutor has a variety of other criminal charges to choose from. Regardless of what police officers claim you did – or what prosecutors charge you with – it’s critical to have an experienced lawyer handle your criminal case. This is true even if you think the prosecutor is offering a fair plea deal.

You’re probably wondering why you need an attorney to accept a plea deal. The simple fact is that prosecutors are never doing you a favor with their offer. In some instances, they’ll overcharge or add aggravating factors simply to scare you into pleading guilty to a lesser crime. This is a major legal issue in the criminal justice system – one that has resulted in far too many wrongful convictions. A battery attorney in Wisconsin can review the prosecution’s case and help decide whether you should even engage in plea negotiations.

In many cases, prosecutors offer a plea deal because they don’t have the evidence to support their charges. They may also believe that available evidence could create reasonable doubt. Put simply, there is no situation where you should accept a plea deal without first speaking with an attorney. In some instances, it may be possible to have charges dropped entirely – but if your case needs to go to trial, an attorney may be able to increase your odds of a favorable outcome.

What Are the Legal Defenses for Battery Charges?

Whether you’re facing assault charges in California, battery charges in Wisconsin, or domestic violence allegations in New York – you’re entitled to constitutional protections and a legal defense. While a prosecutor may try to convince you that your case is “open and shut,” the truth is that there are many potential legal defenses to charges related to violent attacks.

Such defenses include:

  • Self-defense: You’re allowed to protect yourself and others from aggressors.
  • Other person’s consent: Mutual combat is not recognized in Wisconsin, but having another person’s consent in certain situations (e.g., “rough sex”) can be a valid defense.
  • False allegations: Many alleged batteries committed never even occurred. False allegations can be levied for a variety of reasons.
  • Alibi: Even if offensive contact clearly occurred, it doesn’t mean the defendant was the perpetrator. An alibi can establish their innocence.
  • Mental illness or insanity: The law should not hold someone accountable if they were unable to understand their actions at the time of the alleged crime.
  • Mistaken identity: It’s not uncommon for individuals to be mistakenly identified as an attacker. This is common in sexual assaults or when serious bodily injury occurs that affects a person’s memory.
  • Constitutional violations: Police and prosecutors have to abide by the Constitution. If they fail to do so, the system may have to drop all charges.

Keep in mind that none of these legal defense strategies are one-size-fits-all. It’s recommended to speak with a Wisconsin battery attorney to discuss the specifics of your case. They can help you understand the case against you and your options for approaching it. Battery convictions carry the potential for serious penalties, so don’t risk your future with a do-it-yourself approach.

Contact an Experienced Battery Attorney in Wisconsin Today

Whether you’re charged with simple or aggravated battery – or any other violent crime – it’s critical to understand your rights under the law. In all cases, you should try to secure the most favorable outcome. Not only could this minimize the risk of severe penalties, but it could reduce the odds that you’ll face a personal injury lawsuit in relation to the charges. Battery cases in Wisconsin should not be taken lightly, so consider working with a law firm if you’ve been charged.

At Casper Mehlos Law Group, we have seen what happens when people face a criminal charge without legal assistance. While it’s possible they may secure a favorable outcome, the simple fact is that navigating the legal process is incredibly difficult. Even having a court-appointed attorney on your side – professionals who have three times the recommended caseloads on average – does not mean you’ll have dedicated representation.

You deserve a committed attorney who will fight to help you avoid the penalties of battery charges in Wisconsin. Contact us at (608) 820-8926 to schedule your free consultation.