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Battery to a law enforcement officer or firefighter is a felony in Wisconsin.  Contact us immediately at (414) 270-0202 for help.

Battery to a law enforcement officer or firefighter is a Class H felony in Wisconsin.  That means you face up to a maximum penalty of 6 years in prison, $10,000.00 in fines, or both if convicted.  Importantly, that 6 year prison sentence breaks down into 3 years initial confinement and 3 years extended supervision.  Either way, this is an incredibly serious sentence to face.

Secondly, battery to a law enforcement officer or firefighter charges sometimes attract media attention.  It’s important for defendants to not interact with the media unless their criminal defense lawyer approves it.  Importantly, like a Miranda issue, statements made to the press are likely to be used against you in court.  Except they’re even easier for the government to use.  Your focus should be on hiring the appropriate attorney, not speaking with the media.  If any kind of public statement helps your case, we’ll take that step together when appropriate.

Finally, if you are facing this charge, contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. immediately.  Our criminal defense lawyers have a significant amount of experience defending violent, high-profile crimes.  We offer free consultations and would to speak with you regarding your criminal charges.  Call us at (414) 270-0202.

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What is battery to a law enforcement officer or firefighter?

Section 940.203(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits battery to a law enforcement officer or firefighter.  The law indicates:

(2) Whoever intentionally causes bodily harm or threatens to cause bodily harm to the person or family member of any judge, prosecutor, or law enforcement officer under all of the following circumstances is guilty of a Class H felony:
(a) At the time of the act or threat, the actor knows or should have known that the victim is a judge, prosecutor, or law enforcement officer or a member of the judge’s, prosecutor’s, or law enforcement officer’s family.
(b) The act or threat is in response to any action taken by a judge, prosecutor, or law enforcement officer in an official capacity.
(c) There is no consent by the person harmed or threatened.
While this certainly appears pretty straightforward, let’s point out a few things off the bat.
  • First of all, the defendant must know (or should know) that the victim is either a law enforcement officer or firefighter.  This means that an off-duty cop or firefighter, not in uniform, not clearly an individual in either position, does not fall under this statute.
  • Secondly, the defendant’s action must be “in response” to something the law enforcement officer or firefighter did while operating in their official capacity.  While this isn’t as clearcut as the first point, an action does not qualify under this section unless it’s responsive to something the cop or firefighter did while acting in that position.
  • Finally, consent applies in this statute.  But that’s no surprise, as consent is also an element of misdemeanor battery.

Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instructions 1230 and 1240C

Most crimes in Wisconsin have official jury instructions that help fact finders navigate the law.  Whether this is a criminal defense lawyer going through plea paperwork, a judge conducting a trial, or the jury deciding the fate of the defendant, jury instructions play an important role in the criminal justice system.  Battery to a law enforcement officer or firefighter is certainly no exception.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1230 and 1240C provide us the elements of this offense:

  • Firstly, the defendant must cause bodily harm to the victim.  “Cause means that the defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in producing bodily harm.  “Bodily harm” means physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition; and
  • Secondly, the victim was a firefighter, commission warden, or law enforcement officer; and
  • Thirdly, the victim was acting in an official capacity.  Firefighters, commission wardens, and law enforcement officers act in an official capacity when they perform duties that they are employed to perform; and
  • The defendant knew or had reason to know that the victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or commission warden acting in an official capacity; and
  • The defendant caused bodily harm to the victim without the consent of the victim; and
  • Finally, the defendant acted with the mental purpose to cause bodily harm to the victim and knew the victim did not consent.

What does all this mean, and how can we help fight your case?

Our criminal defense attorneys are in court, fighting for defendants in criminal cases every single week.  We defend relatively mitigated offenses like disorder conduct, we defend serious felony charges like homicide, and certainly most importantly, we defend felonies just like this one.  If you’re looking to fight your case all the way through jury trial, we have your back.  Or alternatively, if you’re simply looking for the best plea deal, we can certainly fight for that result.  No matter your goal, it’s safe to say we’ve pursued something similar in the past.

An important part of any representation is pre-trial practice, specifically referring to filing motions and challenging government actions.  Sometimes cases involve a Miranda-Goodchild motion challenging statements made to police officers.  In others, challenging the stop of a vehicle, the search of a vehicle, or a search warrant is appropriate.  While these charges usually rely on witness testimony to proceed, we’ll always be prepared to file and pursue motions.

Finally, it’s important to point out the obvious – every case is different.  A general article like this cannot predict the issues you’ll face.  But that’s why we offer free initial consultations to potential clients.  At that consultation we can begin figuring out what motions are appropriate in your case.

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Battery to a law enforcement officer or firefighter is a felony in Wisconsin. Contact a top defense lawyer at (414) 270-0202 for help.

Contact our criminal defense lawyers immediately for help

You’ve had a chance to review our page discussing battery to a law enforcement officer or firefighter.  The next step is an important one, and it’s one that should be taken care of sooner rather than later.  It’s time to hire a criminal defense attorney to help fight your case.

At Van Severen Law Office, S.C., our criminal defense lawyers are regularly recognized as some of the best in Wisconsin.  We regularly defend cases involving violence.  Those cases have included battery to a law enforcement officer or firefighter charges.  We’d like to speak with you regarding your charges, set up a free consultation, and figure out how we can help.  Contact us at (414) 270-0202.

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