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The Legal Differences between Assault and Battery

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, Wisconsin criminal lawsAlthough you often hear the term assault and battery as one phrase, they are actually very different.  Assault is one thing and battery is another. If someone has been battered, they have likely been assaulted as well, although the reverse is not necessarily true. What is true is that there are a variety of different circumstances that can give rise to charges of assault and/or battery, and the potential penalties depend on the facts of each case.

Assault and Battery Defined

In general, assault is defined as something which causes another person to fear imminent bodily harm. No physical contact is necessary for a person to be assaulted. Assault charges are often pursued in civil court, along with battery charges or independently.

In Wisconsin, Battery charges carry varying levels of criminal fines and penalties, and there are many types of battery in Wisconsin. The term battery is generally defined as the use of force against someone with the intent to injure them. There are special provisions governing your case if you are charged with aggravated battery, battery against an unborn child, or battery against a witness, judge, or other public figure. Because the terms assault and battery are used so loosely and interchangeably in the general public, and can mean so many different things even under the law, it is crucial that you have an experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorney by your side to aggressively defend you.

Penalties for Battery

Causing physical harm to another individual, unborn child or the mother of an unborn child can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge under Wisconsin law, which carries penalties of up to nine months in jail and a fine of $10,000. You can be charged with felony battery, however, if there is substantial injury to the alleged victim, or “great bodily harm”. Great bodily harm occurs when the victim dies, suffers permanent injury or disfigurement, or loses some body function for a long period of time.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the battery charges and the amount of harm done to the alleged victim, you face a prison term between 3.5 and 15 years when charged with felony battery, and fines ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

If you are charged with battery, you need a seasoned Milwaukee criminal defense attorney in your corner defending your rights. Call or email us today for a complimentary consultation so we can discuss your charges.



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