Domestic violence is typically defined as aggressive or violent acts perpetrated within a home which are targeted at spouses or domestic partners. The most common form and interpretation of domestic violence is domestic battery. This consists of any form of intentional touching that inflicts injury to a spouse, former spouse, or another person with whom the accused has lived with or had a child. An accusation of this form of battery can significantly affect your life, including your relationships with family members, friends, neighbors, and especially your own children. In such cases, you may require the representation of an experienced domestic battery lawyer to help defend you from the potential serious penalties of a conviction.
If you’ve been accused of domestic battery, the legal situation in front of you is serious. Criminal attorney Sean Hessler has extensive experience fighting successfully for the rights of his clients. He can explore the available options on your behalf to minimize or, if possible, eliminate the penalties of domestic battery you are facing.
Call (317) 886-8800 for a free, initial consultation to request a free case consultation.
Domestic Battery Defined
Indiana has a designated separate crime for domestic battery itself, as explained in Indiana Code 35-42-2-1.3. The law defines this offense as an individual who intentionally or knowingly:
- Touches a family or household member in an angry, insolent, or rude manner
- Places any bodily waste or fluid on a family or household member in an angry, insolent, or rude manner
Penalties for Domestic Battery
Unless the circumstances mentioned below apply, this offense is charged as a class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. As well, if you are convicted of domestic battery, you may be required to enter some form of intervention program.
Felony domestic battery is punishable based on the severity of the crime under six felony levels. Each level carries a prison sentence as given below and a potential maximum fine of $10,000.
As well, a particular felony involving domestic battery may be charged based on the existence of one or more characteristics of the offenses mentioned below.
Level 6 felony- Six months to two and a half years in prison (one-year advisory sentence)
- The accused has a past unrelated conviction
- The offense produced a moderate bodily injury
- The offense was carried out by an individual at least 18 years old in the presence of a minor less than 16 years old
- The offense was committed by an individual at least 18 years old against another family or household member less than 14 years old
- The offense was perpetrated against an “endangered adult” as defined by Indiana law – IC 12-10-3-2
- The offense was committed against an individual with a mental or physical disability by that individual’s caregiver
Level 5 felony- One to six years in prison (advisory term of three years)
- The offender has a past battery conviction against the same person
- The offense produces a serious bodily injury
- The offense is carried out with a deadly weapon
- The offense produces an injury to a pregnant woman, and the offender was aware of the pregnancy
- The offense inflicts a bodily injury to a child less than 14 years of age, an “endangered adult” as defined by Indiana law, or a person with physical or mental disability (if committed by a caregiver)
Level 4 felony- Two to 12 years in prison (advisory term of six years)
- The offense inflicts a serious bodily injury to an “endangered adult”
Level 3 felony- Three to 16 years in prison (advisory term of nine years)
- The offense is carried out by a person greater than 18 years of age against someone less than 14 years of age
Level 2 felony- 10 to 30 years (advisory term of 17.5 years)
- The offense results in the death family member or household member who is under 14 years of age, or is an “endangered adult”
Contact an Experienced Indiana Domestic Battery Lawyer
If you’re facing a domestic battery charge, you need highly skilled and experienced representation to ensure your rights are protected and your case is defended properly. Domestic battery attorney Sean Hessler of Hessler Law is experienced and will work hard on your behalf to develop and implement a strong defense in your case.