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Bucher Law Group, LLC

What You Need to Know About Assault and Battery in Wisconsin

 Posted on August 04, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Waukesha criminal defense lawyerThe way that certain words are used is perhaps the most confusing part of the law and the legal system at large. Often, a word’s legal definition is much different from the meaning it has in everyday use. This occurs because, in any legal application, words must be defined in a manner that can be clearly understood in a particular jurisdiction. Without intentionally and carefully defined terms, there would be a great deal of confusion among judges, lawyers, juries, law enforcement, and criminal defendants.

One of the clearest examples of a word being used differently in the law versus in casual conversation can be found in the word “assault.” You might be surprised to learn what the legal meaning of the word actually is—at least according to Wisconsin law.

What is the Legal Definition of Assault?

When you are involved in everyday conversation and you refer to an assault, you probably mean that an entity—a person, a gang, or even a military group—attacked another entity and inflicted violence. “That dude assaulted the girl before he ran off.” “The tactical operations team conducted a midnight assault on the suspected drug house.” Most of the time, people understand exactly what you mean.

In many jurisdictions, the criminal offense of assault refers to the infliction of harm through an act of violence or putting someone in fear of such harm. Not in Wisconsin, though. In Wisconsin law, assault means—well, it does not mean anything because the state’s laws do not include an offense called “assault.” Instead, the harm and violence associated with what we generally understand as assault fall mostly under the offense of “battery.”

Battery Charges in Wisconsin

According to Wisconsin law, the offense of battery refers to causing bodily harm to another person by means of an act done with the intent of causing bodily harm to that person or another person. There are varying degrees of battery depending on the severity of the harm suffered by the victim, the intent of the alleged perpetrator, certain characteristics of the victim, and the presence or use of a weapon. Battery charges can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony.

In most cases, threats or acts that cause a person to fear bodily harm but that do not involve contact are prosecuted as disorderly conduct. This means, for example, if you throw a punch—a sucker punch, not a punch after mutually agreeing to a fight—and that punch lands, you could be charged with battery. If the other person ducks or moves, and the punch misses, you could still be charged, but the charge would most likely be disorderly conduct.

Contact a Waukesha Battery Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing charges related to battery or any other type of violent crime, it is important to speak to an experienced Waukesha County criminal defense attorney right away. Call 262-303-4916 for a free consultation with a member of the team at Bucher Law Group, LLC today. We will help you secure the best possible outcome for your unique situation.



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