Understanding Domestic Violence Charges in Indiana

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Domestic violence is one of those topics that is very tough to discuss. Many times it occurs, unnoticed and uncharged — a perpetual and vicious cycle of abuse. Often times, many victims suffer greatly and fear reprisal or increased violence if they come forward — and thus the cycle continues.

Unfortunately, at some point, the violence becomes so great that injuries are too much to hide, or the abuse is too much to take, and action is taken (sometimes by the victim themselves, or an advocate on their behalf). Once law enforcement gets involved, inevitably the prosecutor’s office does as well. And, in the end, charges are brought against the aggressor. If you have been accused of domestic violence and need legal representation in Indianapolis, contact our Indianapolis domestic violence attorneys in Indiana.

What makes domestic violence even more difficult is that sometimes it’s hard to tell if the parties are being honest, who the aggressors are or were, and the willingness of the parties to assist the State in proving their case. As such, domestic violence cases are some of the most litigated criminal cases. Additionally, and it’s sad to say, there are many cases of false reports, vindictive prosecution by the alleged victim, and manipulation of facts behind the alleged abuse — all this leads to a detraction in attention from those who truly need protection. And, again, leads to more litigation.

This blog is meant to explain when charges are brought, and what the most common charges are. Below are the most commonly charged domestic related offenses in Indiana:

Though not listed under domestic violence specifically, under Indiana Code, I.C. 35-42-2-1(d)(6), a person commits:

  1. A Level 6 Felony:
    1. If they are at least eighteen (18) years of age,
    2. They touch a family or household member,
    3. In a rude, insolent or angry manner resulting in bodily injury, and
    4. The battery took place in the presence of a child less than sixteen (16), who the aggressor knew was present and might be able to see or hear the event.

The offenses above are just the baseline offenses for domestic battery. Often times they are accompanied with additional charges depending on the seriousness of the allegations. Common additional charges are as follows:

  •  Intimidation, IC 35-45-2-1: Communicating threats to another person
    • Penalty: Ranges from a Class-A Misdemeanor to a Level 5 Felony depending on the facts
  • Harassment, IC 35-45-2-2: Harassing or annoying another for no legitimate purpose
    • Penalty: A Class-B Misdemeanor
  • Confinement, IC 35-42-3-3: Confining someone without their consent by fraud, force or threat
    • Penalty:  Ranges from a Level 6 Felony to a Level 2 Felony depending on the facts
  • Battery with Serious Bodily Injury, IC 35-42-2-1(h)-(i):
    • Penalty: Ranges from a Level 4 Felony to a Level 3 Felony depending on the facts
  • Strangulation, IC 35-42-2-9: Applying pressure to the throat or neck of another person and/or obstructing the nose or mouth of another, as to impede normal breathing or blood flow circulation.
    • Penalty:  A Level 6 Felony
  • Invasion of Privacy: IC 35-46-1-15.1: Defying a court’s no contact or protective order.
    • Penalty: Ranges from Class-A Misdemeanor to Level 6 Felony, depending on if the person has a prior unrelated conviction for Invasion of Privacy.

As anyone can see by the possible penalties, domestic violence is no laughing matter. In fact, if you, or a loved one, are the victim of domestic violence, we encourage you to seek out help and/or the assistance of a victim’s advocate.
If you or a loved one has been accused of domestic violence, give the experienced Domestic Violence Lawyers at Banks & Brower, LLC a call today. The Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower have extensive experience defending domestic violence charges. We’ll make sure your rights are protected every step of the way. Call us at 317.870.0019 or email us at info@banksbrower.com.