Under Wisconsin law, a jury can convict you of battery if you cause harm to a law enforcement officer while that officer is performing his or her duties if you know (or should know) that he or she is a police officer.
It sounds pretty straightforward, but there’s a catch.
When it comes to battery and police officers, you don’t have to be guilty of great bodily harm, though.
Bodily Harm vs. Great Bodily Harm
Wisconsin law classifies bodily harm:
- Physical pain
- Impairment of a physical condition
Great bodily harm refers to injury that creates a substantial risk of death, causes serious disfigurement, or causes loss or impairment of a limb or organ.
If you are convicted of battering a police officer, you’ll be facing a Class H felony—even if the battery was minor. That’s because the law considers battery of a police officer a “special circumstance.” Just for the record, firefighters and a handful of other people fall under this category, as well.
What to Do if Police Accuse You of Battering an Officer During Arrest
You don’t want to risk police being able to accuse you of battery during arrest, so it always makes sense to cooperate once you know that they’re arresting you. Don’t attempt to resist, and don’t do anything they could misinterpret as resistance.
If police do accuse you of battery, the best course of action is to get in touch with a Milwaukee battery lawyer who can help you untangle the situation.
You don’t have to defend yourself or answer any questions if police begin to interrogate you. In fact, even if you’re completely innocent, it’s best to keep quiet until your lawyer arrives. Police could misinterpret something you say, which can then be used against you in court. You could be forced to fight a battle that you could’ve avoided.