There are situations and circumstance that raise the penalties from a misdemeanor battery to a felony battery charge. This can happen when the injury to the victim is severe or the victim is a member of a certain class of individuals. For example, when the injury results in substantial bodily harm to another individual that person may be guilty of substantial battery. Substantial battery is a class I felony charge.
Similarly, whoever causes great bodily harm to another by an act done with intent to cause bodily harm to that person or another is guilty of a Class H felony. If the state can prove that the actor intended to cause great bodily harm, the penalty is a Class E felony. Furthermore, if someone causes bodily harm to another by conduct that creates a substantial risk of great bodily harm they may be charged with a Class H felony. A rebuttable presumption of conduct creating a substantial risk of great bodily harm arises when:
- If the person harmed is 62 years of age or older; or
- If the person harmed has a physical disability, whether congenital or acquired by accident, injury or disease, that is discernible by an ordinary person viewing the physically disabled person, or that is actually known by the actor
Substantial bodily harm includes:
- lacerations the require staples, stitches, or tissue adhesive
- bone fractures and broken noses
- tooth losses and fractures
- petechia (ruptured blood vessels in the skin, eyes, eyelids or mucous membranes), and
- concussions and temporary losses of consciousness, sight, and hearing.
Great bodily harm includes:
Great bodily harm is defined by Wisconsin statute as an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious and permanent disfigurement or the loss of use or impairment of an organ or appendage. Often the difference in penalties will be whether or not the prosecutor can prove that the individual intended to cause great bodily harm.
Anderson & O'Connell, S.C. are substantial battery attorneys in Madison, WI. Wether you are charged in Dane County or any other part of Southern Wisconsin our attorneys can help. Our experience in defending against substantial battery charges is crucial in obtaining the right results.
Other circumstances where a battery is a felony charge
In Wisconsin if a battery is committed against a certain individual, it will also be considered a felony. In these situations the charge will be a felony even if it does not result in substantial or great bodily harm. These individuals include but are not limited to the following:
- Public officers
- Other prisoners
- Police Officers
- Probation and Parol agents; and
- Firefighters and Commission Wardens