As we talked about in a previous post, one of the things that can impact whether a person charged with battery here in Wisconsin is facing misdemeanor or felony charges is the severity of the harm the purported battery allegedly caused. Another such thing is who the victim of the alleged battery was.
Wisconsin law gives certain types of victims special status when it comes to battery. Battery against individuals given this special status can trigger felony charges. Among the individuals that have this special status are:
- Witnesses and their families.
- Law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors and their families.
- Emergency medical care providers.
- Employees of the department of revenue and their families.
- Employees of the department of safety and professional services and their families.
- Employees of the department of workforce development and their families.
- Probation/parole/extended supervision/aftercare agents.
- Commission wardens.
- Fire fighters.
- Passengers, drivers and operators of public transit vehicles.
- Public officers.
- Employees and operators of school districts or technical college districts.
- Certain county/city/town/village workers.
For all of these special victims classes except the last four listed above, allegations of committing battery against individuals in these classes can trigger Class H felony charges. Alleged battery against individuals in the last four listed classes (the classes from passengers, drivers and operators of public transit vehicles downward) can trigger Class I felony charges.
As a note, each of these special battery victim classes has its own unique rules regarding what needs to happen for a battery against this class of individual to constitute the felony-level offense rather than just a standard battery offense.
Experienced defense attorneys can help individuals facing battery allegations understand important details in their case, such as if the identity of the victim of the alleged battery could trigger any special issues in their case, such as the possibility of upped charges.