What is battery in Wisconsin?

In movies, fights amp up the drama and get everyone cheering. In real life, though, getting into a fight may cause you to receive a criminal conviction. 

Here is what the Wisconsin Legislature says about battery and its consequences


You cannot commit a battery offense accidentally. Regardless of the level of harm caused, you must have done it intentionally. However, you could intend to merely bruise someone and instead harm him or her seriously, and the consequences would reflect the level of harm, not your intention. 

If the person you were fighting consented to the harm, such as a situation where the two of you agreed to fight for a prize, then you may not have committed battery. 

Level of harm and consequences 

The level of harm determines the offense and the consequences of the conviction. If you have the intent to cause bodily harm, the following may be the outcome: 

  • Bodily harm: Class A misdemeanor (up to nine months in jail and/or up to $10,000 fine) 
  • Substantial bodily harm: Class I felony (up to 3 1/2 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 fine) 
  • Great bodily harm: Class H felony (up to six years in prison and/or up to $10,000 fine) 

If you intend to cause great bodily harm, and you succeed, then you may face a Class E felony, which could result in up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of as high as $50,000. 

Actions that create a substantial risk that someone will suffer great bodily harm with an intention of causing bodily harm could lead to a Class H felony conviction. If the person you harmed is 62 years old or older, or if he or she has an obvious or known physical disability, then the law presumes that a substantial risk of causing great bodily harm exists.