The Guide to Battery Charges and Penalties in Wisconsin

Battery Charges in Wisconsin explained by Criminal Defense Attorney

Any time you intentionally harm another person in Wisconsin, you are subject to battery charges. What penalties you face, though, vary depending on how much harm you intended, whom you harm, and how much harm you actually cause. If you are arrested for battery charges, you need a good criminal defense attorney to help you protect yourself.

Harm and Intent

Wisconsin classifies its battery charges under Wisconsin Statutes 940.19, as follows:

  • Class A misdemeanor for causing any harm while intending to cause bodily harm;
  • Class I felony for causing substantial bodily harm with intent to cause bodily harm;
  • Class H felony for causing great bodily harm with intent to cause bodily harm;
  • Class E felony for causing great bodily harm with intent to cause great bodily harm; and
  • Class H felony for causing bodily harm through conduct that creates a substantial risk of great bodily harm.

For all of these, the intent can be to harm either the person harmed “or another”; you don’t catch a break by injuring an innocent bystander when you meant to hurt someone else. You also face the same potential charges for battery to an unborn child.


Because the classifications are different, the penalties you may face differ as well. Depending on the level of battery for which you are convicted, you face the following penalties:

  • Class A misdemeanor: fine up to $10,000, and/or jail for up to 9 months;
  • Class I felony:fine of up to $10,000, and prison up to 3 years and 6 months;
  • Class H felony: fine up to $10,000, and prison up to 6 years;
  • Class E felony: fine up to $50,000, and prison up to 15 years.


You can raise defenses against battery charges. You can argue that you did not intend the harm caused, or that you acted in self defense. You can also challenge evidence presented or raise other legal and factual defenses.

Battery charges bring significant consequences if you are convicted. Contact Eisenberg Law Offices to get experienced criminal defense help for your battery case.


308 East Washington Avenue Madison,
WI 53703
(608) 256-8356

Eisenberg Law Offices, s.c.

Madison WI Attorneys since 1983



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