The line between felony and misdemeanor battery

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2019 | Firm News

Battery allegations are serious in the state of Wisconsin. Felony battery refers to when a person causes substantial bodily harm to another with the intent to cause harm, according to Wisconsin legislation. The difference between misdemeanor battery and felony battery has to do with intent and the type of bodily harm. The statute mentions substantial and great bodily harm. How does this differ from bodily harm? 

When you are referring to simple bodily harm, this is anything that causes physical pain, injury, illness or any other impairment of your physical condition. Substantial harm is more specific than bodily harm. It refers to allegations that are more serious. Substantial bodily harm is any bodily injury that results in stitches, staples or a tissue adhesive. Next, any fracture of the bones, loss of consciousness or loss of sight, hearing or teeth is substantial bodily harm. 

Great bodily harm becomes even more serious. Great bodily harm refers to injuries that have a substantial risk of death, permanent disfigurement or a permanent loss of function. Battery charges can increase based on the victim. For instance, if there are allegations that you hurt someone over the age of 62 or someone who had a physical disability, you are guilty of a Class H felony. 

The potential for great bodily harm may also affect how the courts classify your weapons. For instance, if you have a pellet gun but the pellet gun becomes a weapon used for bludgeoning, it can now be a weapon capable of great bodily harm. 

None of the above is to be interpreted as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.