You’ve probably heard about battery and assault charges, but what do those two terms mean—and are they interchangeable?
Battery and Assault Charges in Milwaukee
In some states, the terms battery and assault are basically interchangeable. In Wisconsin, “assault and battery are two different things. You can be charged and convicted of both offenses, and each is a distinct crime with its own set of consequences.
- Battery: Battery is defined as using force against someone with the intent to injure them.
- Assault: Assault usually refers to an action a person takes that causes another person to fear bodily injury, even if no physical contact actually occurs.
When you hear someone talking about battery and assault charges, they’re often referring to the crime of battery.
Battery can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the nature of the offense, and depending on what actually happens to the alleged victim.
Battery is usually considered a Class A misdemeanor if you cause harm to another person and you intended to cause them that harm without their consent.
The penalty can be up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Substantial bodily harm is what separates misdemeanor and felony battery charges. If you cause someone substantial bodily harm with the intent to do so and without consent from the other person, you could be looking at a Class I felony charge.
Substantial bodily harm is an injury that requires medical treatment and results in stitches or staples, a broken nose, the loss of a tooth (or teeth), a concussion, or the loss of consciousness. It can also refer to bone fractures.
The penalty for Class I felony battery can be up to three years, six months of imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.
Great bodily harm with the intent to cause harm (you hurt someone more than you meant to) makes battery a Class H felony. Great bodily harm results from an injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or one that causes serious and permanent disfigurement; it can also refer to an injury that results in the loss of use or impairment of an organ or appendage (such as an arm or a leg). This Class H felony can result in up to six years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Great bodily harm with the intent to cause great bodily harm (you meant to hurt the person as much as you did) turns battery into a Class E felony. You could end up spending 15 years behind bars and paying fines of up to $50,000.
Do You Need to Talk to a Battery and Assault Charge Lawyer in Milwaukee?
If you need to talk to an attorney about battery and assault charges, call us immediately at 414-383-6700, or get in touch with us online for a free consultation. We’ll evaluate your case and begin building the strategy that gets you the best possible outcome right away.