Here in Wisconsin, battery is, generally, an action done with the intent to inflict bodily harm that causes bodily harm to someone. Given this relatively simple definition, one might think that the issue of what level of criminal charge a person would face in the state upon being accused of battery would also be a fairly simple one. However, under state law, there are actually multiple different charge levels a battery charge can have, with what specific charge level a person could face depending on multiple factors. One of these factors is the severity of the injury the alleged battery caused to the victim.
The most basic type of battery charge in the state is a Class A misdemeanor charge. As a note, for an action to constitute a battery offense at this charge level, in addition to there having to have been bodily harm and an intent to cause bodily harm, there must have also been a lack of consent from the victim.
For more severe types of injuries, the charge level rises. Battery that caused substantial bodily harm is a felony offense. Specifically it is a Class I Felony.
If battery a person is accused of is alleged to have caused great bodily harm or generated a substantial risk of this level of harm, they can face an even higher level felony charge. Battery in which a substantial risk of great bodily harm was generated is a Class H felony. Battery in which great bodily harm was caused is a Class E felony if the intent of the perpetrator was to cause great bodily harm and a Class H felony if the intent of the perpetrator was simply to cause bodily harm.
Additionally, there are special circumstances that can push battery allegations out of the realm of the above-mentioned standard battery charges and into the realm of special battery charges.
As this illustrates, the specifics of the accusations can have major impacts in battery cases. The complexity of Wisconsin laws regarding battery charges is one of the many reasons why not having strong legal guidance when going through criminal proceedings related to battery allegations in the state could put a person in a very disadvantageous position.