Battery is defined as the act of non-consensual violence committed against another individual. It is often charged alongside assault, but the two exist independently and can be charged individually. Assault is the act of threatening to physically harm a victim.
Battery is a violent crime. When an individual is charged with battery, it is in his or her best interest to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to develop an effective legal defense strategy for the case. When an individual in Appleton is charged with battery, his or her case is handled by the Winnebago County Circuit Court.
Any act of intentionally causing bodily harm to a victim may be charged as an act of battery. This can include, but is not limited to:
Intent is an important part of a battery charge. Accidentally coming into contact with another party, even if the contact results in injury to the other party, is not an act of battery.
An act of alleged battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the act. Even within these categories, the amount of harm the victim suffered and other relevant facts determine exactly the charge level the defendant faces.
When an act of battery causes a victim to suffer bodily harm, such as a cut, a bruise, or a scratch, the offense is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for this conviction are up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. An individual can face this charge for harming an unborn child.
More substantial bodily harm to the victim means a steeper charge for the alleged offender. When a victim suffers substantial bodily harm, which includes burns, tooth loss, cuts that require stitches or staples, concussions, and bone fractures, the defendant faces a Class I felony charge. The penalties for an individual convicted of a Class I felony include:
The penalties for a Class E felony conviction include:
When battery is committed against certain victims, it can be a Class H felony. These victims include:
Additionally, battery is charged as a Class H felony when it is committed by a prisoner or an individual institutionalized for sexual violence.
When a dangerous weapon, such as a firearm, a taser, a blade, or even an everyday object like a bottle or baseball bat is used to cause or attempt to cause great bodily harm, the court will impose a longer prison sentence.
In addition to these charges, whenever an alleged victim is over the age of 62 or disabled, the court assumes the incident caused or could have caused great bodily harm. The burden of proof to show it did not is on the defendant.
If you are accused of battery, get in contact with an experienced Appleton criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Do this before you are even formally charged – the sooner you can start working on your case’s defense strategy, the better chance you give yourself of having the charge lowered or dismissed. Contact our Appleton battery lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.