Under Wisconsin criminal code can a person be charged with felony assault if no one was injured

Asked about 6 years ago - Milwaukee, WI

Can you be charged with felonious assault when no one was injured. And only a verbal threat was made?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Anthony D. Cotton

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . I'm a little unsure about the answer that was posted. You can't be charged with a felony "assault" if there was no harm to someone. The act of making verbal threats to a person, as you described in your question, may be a misdemeanor crime of disorderly conduct. That conduct is not a felony.

  2. Chad William Koplien

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . Do you mean battery instead of assault?

    Here is the statute on battery and you can see that it is still felony charge if the conduct did not result in actual harm if it in fact created the risk of substantial harm to the victim:

    940.19 Battery; substantial battery; aggravated battery.
    (1) Whoever causes bodily harm to another by an act done
    with intent to cause bodily harm to that person or another without
    the consent of the person so harmed is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
    (2) Whoever causes substantial bodily harm to another by an
    act done with intent to cause bodily harm to that person or another
    is guilty of a Class I felony.
    (4) Whoever causes great bodily harm to another by an act
    done with intent to cause bodily harm to that person or another is
    guilty of a Class H felony.
    (5) Whoever causes great bodily harm to another by an act
    done with intent to cause great bodily harm to that person or
    another is guilty of a Class E felony.
    (6) Whoever intentionally causes bodily harm to another by
    conduct that creates a substantial risk of great bodily harm is guilty
    of a Class H felony.

  3. Chad William Koplien

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . Here is a link to the criminal code regarding violence to the person:

    www.legis.state.wi.us/Statutes/Stat0940.pdf

  4. Chad William Koplien

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . The attorney above is right -- in re-reading the statute actual harm (although not great harm) is a required element.

  5. Chad William Koplien

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . Revisiting this issue -- I see that my first answer was somewhat correct -- Wisconsin Statute, Section 939.32 is entitled "attempt" and states, "...Whoever attempts to commit a felony or crime specified in 940.19...may be fined or imprisoned...."

    Therefore, you can indeed be charged with a crime for attempting to commit a battery under Wisconsin Statute, Section 940.19, even if no one was injured.

    I say that my answer was "partially" correct because I doubt that a "verbal threat" could contitute an "attempt."

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