How one bar fight can change your life

Okay, the game last night got a bit rowdy or maybe your buddy ran into that old college rival and things got out of hand. Now what? If an altercation occurred, Wisconsin will treat it as a battery claim. There are three levels of battery between two adults who are not related to each other: (1) battery; (2) substantial battery; and, (3) aggravated battery. Domestic abuse is treated in much the same way but imposes special surcharges.


Battery is classified as intentionally causing bodily harm to a person without that persons consent. The law does not specify what exact types of injuries would fall under this misdemeanor but it is a lower charge that would impose small consequences. 

Substantial battery

Substantial battery sits in the middle. While its classification is nearly the same as it relates to causing harm to someone without their consent, it refers to larger injuries sustained by the non-consenting party-the greater the injury, the greater the charge and potential penalties. Substantial battery falls under a Class I felony.

Aggravated battery

Aggravated battery becomes even more complex. If the offending person causes great bodily harm but only intended to cause a lesser amount of harm (a black eye for example), then it is classified as a Class H felony. If the intent was to cause great bodily harm and the offender did cause great bodily harm, then it is classified as a Class E felony.

Many other variables come into play depending upon the age of the person and their relation to the person charge. For example, the court will look at a charge differently if the battery was against certain public figures, witnesses or a spouse.

Domestic abuse

If the injured party has a romantic relationship with the offender, the court may impose domestic abuse surcharges, which can be up to $100.00 per offense. If a child or unborn child is injured the situation becomes a bit murkier.

Any of the above charges can seriously damage your future and potentially affect your eligibility for financial aid; however, there are a number of defenses that can be made. Discussing the charges and options available to you with a qualified attorney is the best offense you can make in your defense.

Your attorney's experience can make all the difference when your future is on the line. Learn how attorney Jeffrey Kippa can help you move forward.

Call 920-733-1100