Assault & Battery Defense

madison domestic abuse and battery DEFENSE attorney

What you need to know about battery, domestic abuse and other violent crime in Wisconsin:

Assault and battery are often charged together, however, the charges are actually two distinct offenses. Assault is an attempt or a threat to cause physical harm, though no actual contact needs to occur in order to be charged. Battery is the intentional use of force against another person with the intent of causing physical harm to them.

Attorney Pat Stangl has a proven record of success defending clients across Wisconsin who have been charged with violent crimes, including battery, causing substantial bodily harm, causing great bodily harm and more.

If you're facing battery or assault charges of any kind in Wisconsin, contact Stangl Law Offices to discuss your case.

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Bodily Harm in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony offense, depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, and whether or not the victim was a member of a protected class.

A major factor in determining sentencing for battery is assessing the degree of bodily harm that was caused. Misdemeanor battery charges often involve minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises while felony battery charges include more serious bodily harm, which Wisconsin law categorizes in two levels: substantial and great.

Substantial bodily harm typically involves lacerations, broken bones, tooth loss, burns, ruptured blood vessels, or concussions, and is a Class I felony offense punishable by up to three years and six months in prison and fines up to $10,000.

Great bodily harm, also known as aggravated battery, involves injuries that are life-threatening or result in permanent disfiguration. This is a Class E felony offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $50,000.

What happens if I'm arrested and taken to the county jail?

You will be fingerprinted and photographed. You will either be released on personal recognizance or you will have to wait for a bail commissioner to set bail. Provide basic personal information only and do not make any statements, verbal or written, about the allegations. Remain silent.

What is a misdemeanor?

In Wisconsin, a misdemeanor is a crime with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $10,000.00 fine. There are different classes of misdemeanors but never can the maximum penalty exceed one year in jail.

Generally a conviction for a misdemeanor does not include a restriction on the right to possess firearms; however, there is an important exception.

By virtue of 1996 amendments made to the Gun Control Act of 1968, persons convicted of domestic violence offenses are prohibited under Federal Law from possessing firearms. Section (g) (9) prohibits anyone “who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from legally possessing a firearm.

What is a felony?

A felony is a crime that carries with it a potential sentence of at least one year and one day in prison. In Wisconsin, other serious consequences flow from a felony conviction including prohibiting a convicted felon from possessing a firearm. A convicted felon also loses the right to vote, can never hold public office, and must submit a sample of their DNA to the DNA Database in Wisconsin.

If a person is convicted of a sexual assault or sexual offense that person will be required to register as a sex offender. If a person is convicted of a serious child sex offense that person cannot engage in any occupation or participate in a volunteer position that requires that person to work or interact primarily and directly with children under the age of sixteen. 

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If you're facing battery charges or another criminal offense in Wisconsin and have questions or would like more information about associated penalties, Contact Us to discuss your case today.


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After a seemingly insignificant altercation, I was charged with criminal assault charges. I did some research and read that Pat Stangl was the lawyer to hire. After the consultation, I knew that Pat would stop at nothing to help me in my case. After months of waiting on the DA, Pat's persistence throughout the entire process stayed true. Due to Pat's professionalism, extensive knowledge of the court system, and all around amazing character, my criminal assault charge was reduced to a civil ordinance violation. I recommend that anyone who thinks they might need a lawyer for similar situations, pick up the phone and call Pat immediately. Again, thanks Pat!

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If there's a way to win your battery or other criminal case in Wisconsin, Stangl Law will find it.
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