Aggravated assault is one of the most serious criminal offenses of the Wisconsin Criminal Code. It is also somewhat confusing and misunderstood by many. But regardless of whether a person understands the charge, the penalties include harsh punishment behind bars and significant fines, among other consequences. Fortunately, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help defendants defend themselves against the state.
Understanding aggravated assault begins with an understanding of the definition of assault. In Wisconsin, an assault occurs when a person threatens to inflict harm on someone else. Even if that threat is not carried out, making the threat alone is enough, in many instances, to charge a person with assault.
Assault is often confused with battery, which requires that the aggressor actually touch the victim of the attack. Without some level of touch or contact between the aggressor and the victim, there can be no battery.
Aggravated assault, on the other hand, occurs when a person commits an assault with a dangerous weapon or with enough force to likely produce serious bodily injury or death.
Aggravated assault is a serious violent crime that is classified as a felony. In this respect, it differs from simple assault, which can be charged as a misdemeanor if the prosecution sees fit. However, aggravated assault is always charged as a felony.
Prison time is called for those convicted of felonies in Wisconsin. If you are charged and convicted of aggravated battery, you will likely be looking at a Class-H felony and up to six years behind bars. However, if the prosecutor can prove that you intended to inflict the injury, you could face substantially more prison time of up to 15 years and a Class-E felony.
Additionally, the victim’s age may play a role in an aggravated assault case. If the victim is elderly and suffers bodily harm, the offender could be sentenced to six years behind bars. If the offender inflicted great bodily harm on an elder, however, the punishment could include imprisonment for up to 40 years in a state penitentiary.
The fines that accompany an aggravated assault conviction can be extensive. If charged with a Class-H felony, the fines could total $10,000. However, a conviction of a Class-E felony will see the defendant paying up to $50,000 in criminal fines.
In addition to fines and prison, those convicted of aggravated assault will have a criminal record that will appear on background checks and may disqualify them for various types of employment and schooling. A simple arrest, however, should not have negative employment consequences.
If you are facing a charge of aggravated assault in Wisconsin, don’t gamble with your freedom. Instead, get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney who can potentially mitigate the consequences you are facing, including getting the charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed altogether.