Battery Laws in Wisconsin

Misdemeanor battery in Wisconsin is a crime with serious penalties, including hefty fines and potential jail time. Defendants can be charged with the crime in several situations.

In Wisconsin, the crime of misdemeanor battery is committed by intentionally causes injury to another person (including an unborn child).

For more information on felony battery, see Felony Battery Laws in Wisconsin.

Bodily Harm

Under Wisconsin's laws, misdemeanor battery is defined as causing bodily harm to another person either intentionally or without the other person's consent. Bodily harm means physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of the body.

(Wis. Stat. § § 939.22, 940.19, 940.195.)

For example, bruises, cuts, and scrapes that are the result of minor scuffle would probably be considered bodily harm.

Using or Threatening to Use a Dangerous Weapon

A defendant who commits misdemeanor battery and uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon can be punished by a longer jail term, as explained below.

Dangerous Weapons

In Wisconsin, dangerous weapons include firearms (loaded or unloaded), ligatures and other devices used to strangle or suffocate, Taser guns and similar items, any object designed to be a weapon and capable of causing death or great bodily harm, and any object actually used or intended to be used as a weapon that is likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

(Wis. Stat. § § 939.22, 939.63, 941.295.)

For example, guns and knives are dangerous weapons, and a beer bottle would likely be considered a dangerous weapon if it was used (or intended to be used) to strike someone in the head.

Great Bodily Harm

In Wisconsin, great bodily harm is an injury that creates a risk of death or causes permanent disfigurement or permanent or lasting loss or impairment of any body part. (Wis. Stat. § 939.22.) Cutting off a person's hand, ear, or nose are examples of great bodily harm.

Punishment for Misdemeanor Battery

Battery, including battery on an unborn child, is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

The court can impose an additional jail term of up to six months if the defendant uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon.

(Wis. Stat. § § 939.51, 939.63, 940.19, 940.195.)

Getting Legal Advice and Representation

A conviction for misdemeanor battery can result in jail time, a substantial fine, and a criminal record. If you are charged with misdemeanor battery, you should contact a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to tell you how your case is likely to be treated by the local prosecutor and judge assigned to it and help you prepare a strong defense to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

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