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"Sydne was very informative and made me feel at ease from the moment we first met. I would definitely recommend her to anyone who may find themselves in a similar situation as I." Former OWI client

"Sydne was always available to answer every question I had throughout the entire process, but most importantly she worked not just for me, but with me. I feel like this was the difference between just being a client, and being her client. " R.E.

Attorney Sydne FrenchI try to take a personal interest in every person who calls me for help. I do my best to make sure they do not feel like they are just a case number or just another "defendant." I make the time to really listen to their side of things, their perspectives, and their concerns. I do my best to stay in touch, and I welcome my clients to do the same. They know they can call me 24/7 and that I am there for them 100%.

"Sydne's commitment to her clients,
to the ideal of justice, and to the goal
of zealous representation is unparalleled.
" Keith Findley, President, International Innocence Network; Co-Director, Wisconsin Innocence Project


Winner of the Baldwin Award for Excellence in Criminal Law
Frequently Asked Questions



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Superior Results

Solid Success Rate
Hundreds of Cases Won

We are passionate about what we do and it shows.  We have earned  a solid reputation for negotiating significantly reduced charges, penalties, and dismissals while aggressively defending our clients against the power and resources of the State.

Visit our News Room and take a look at some of the results we have achieved for our clients.  You'll see why we are one of the most well respected criminal and drunk driving defense firms in Wisconsin.


The Law Offices of
Sydne French

200 South Executive Drive
Suite 101
Brookfield, Wisconsin 53005

  250 East Wisconsin Avenue
18th Floor
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
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Substantial Battery
Aggravated Battery

The Law Offices of Sydne French
Aggressive Defense Against the Power & Resources of the State

  • Overview
  • Self Defense
  • Felony Battery
  • Battery Case Victories
  • Misdemeanor Battery

Battery Attorneys
Criminal Defense Attorneys

Battery charges are defined in Chapter 940 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  Depending on the circumstances underlying the incident in question, battery charges may be prosecuted in Wisconsin as a misdemeanor or a felony.  Both are serious criminal charges that can result in significant penalties and jail time.

If the alleged victim is a romantic partner or someone you live with, or someone with whom you have a child in common, the prosecutor will likely add a domestic abuse penalty enhancer to the battery charge, increasing the seriousness of the consequences.

Attorney Sydne French's background in clinical and research psychology (in child and adult populations) makes her particularly skilled at detecting false allegations commonly associated with domestic battery cases.  Whether the motivation underlying the false domestic battery accusation is to gain advantage in divorce or custody proceedings, or simply based on vindictiveness, Attorney French has the background and experience to expose the true nature of the accusations.

Our firm has one of the highest success rates for battery cases.  We are known for our aggressive defense against these types of charges.  Click here to visit our News Room and view some of the battery cases we've won for our clients. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime such as battery, do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free, no pressure consultation in our Waukesha office or Milwaukee office.  We have day and evening appointments available seven days per week for your convenience. 




When a claim of self-defense is made by the defendant, both the conduct of the victim and the defendant, as well as the defendant’s perceptions and state of mind at the time of the incident, are critical.  The defendant generally may introduce facts or evidence of all circumstances underlying the battery which may shed light on the incident and on the defendant’s state of mind at the time.

The basis of the defense of self-defense is real or apparent necessity. Evidence of the alleged victim’s character or reputation for violence may be offered by the defense either to prove that the alleged victim was the actual aggressor, or to show the accused's good faith and reasonable apprehension of danger at the time.

There are two sub-issues regarding the accused’s belief:

(1) whether the accused did in fact fear imminent bodily harm, and if he/she did,
(2) whether his/her fear was reasonable.

Evidence of an alleged victim’s violent character may be relevant on both points.

The accused's state of mind is a crucial factor in self-defense cases.  Therefore, evidence that the accused knew the alleged victim had been violent in the past helps explain to the jury the belief that self defense was necessary at the time, and helps the jury decide whether the defendant did, in fact, have a bona fide apprehension of the victim and did act as a reasonably prudent person would have acted under similar beliefs and circumstances.

In addition, In order to get a conviction, the State would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: 

  • the accused's belief that the alleged victim unlawful interfered was unreasonable
  • the amount of force the accused used stop this unlawful interference was unnecessary



There are different "classes" or levels of severity for Felony Battery charges.  Classes range from E to I, with E being the worse.  Generally speaking, the greater the degree of harm intended, the more serious the charge and sentencing consequences. 

Class-I Felony Battery

To get a Class-I Felony Battery conviction, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did all of the following: 

  • caused substantial bodily harm
  • with intent and
  • without consent

Substantial bodily harm refers to any injury that causes stitches, staples, bone fracture, broken nose, loss of consciousness, a concussion, or loss of a tooth.

Penalties: if you get a Class-I Felony Battery conviction, you face up to 3 1/2 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Class-H Felony Battery

With a Class-H Felony Battery, the State must prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

  • caused great bodily harm
  • with intent to cause harm, and
  • without consent

Great bodily harm is defined by Wisconsin Statutes as an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious and permanent disfigurement or the loss of use or impairment of an organ or appendage.

Penalties: a conviction of Class-H Felony Battery carries the potential for a sentence of up to 6 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Class-E Felony Battery

The elements the State must prove for a Class-E Felony Battery conviction are that you:

  • caused great bodily harm to another
  • with intent to cause great bodily harm, and
  • without consent

Penalties: You face up to 15 years in prison and fines reaching up to $50,000 if you get a Class-E Felony Battery conviction.






A Class-A Misdemeanor Battery charge requires that the State prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you did all of the following:

  • caused bodily harm to another
  • with intent to cause the harm and
  • without consent

Penalties: The maximum penalties for Class-A Misdemeanor Battery are a $10,000 fine and 9 months in jail.






The Law Offices of Sydne French is dedicated to defending individuals against charges of battery, substantial battery, misdemeanor battery, felony battery, in Wisconsin, including, most frequently the counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Jefferson,Washington, Ozaukee, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Winnebago, and Outagamie.



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