Indianapolis Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence is any violence or threat of violence against a spouse, domestic partner, or other person in a close relationship to the defendant. Domestic violence may be committed by men or women, though it is more common for men to be the aggressor in a domestic violence charge. Indianapolis domestic violence attorneys at Banks & Brower understand that you deserve to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Our attorneys will take the time to listen to your side of the story without judgment. Our attorneys are former prosecutors now dedicated to preserving the rights of the accused in Indianapolis. If you have been accused of domestic violence, our attorneys will fight to get you the best outcome possible.
Why Choose Our Domestic Violence Attorneys?
- Experience: Our attorneys have 40 combined years of legal experience in Indianapolis. Brad Banks & Adam Brower have also served as prosecutors for two counties in Indiana which gives them a unique understanding of the defense process.
- Testimonials: With only 6 years since the year was founded, hundreds of past clients have left satisfied testimonials about Brad Banks & Adam Brower.
- Attentiveness: Our team is always prepared and is available to answer any question you may have no matter what type of case you are inquiring about.
- Free Consultation: Not sure if you have a case? No problem, we offer free consultations.
- Knowledgeable: Both of our lead attorneys are from the state of Indiana and are familiar with all Indiana criminal laws. They are always keeping up with the latest news and stay on top of any changes that may affect your case.
- Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges
- What Can I expect When Charged With Domestic Violence Charges?
- Domestic Violence Charges Breakdown
- What is Defined as Family Violence?
What to Do If You Are Accused of Domestic Violence
Having an attorney on your side will help protect your rights and maintain your good name. Your attorney will collect the evidence in your case, and help establish the facts. You should not speak about the case to investigators or anyone else without an attorney present to protect yourself from accidental self-incrimination. The law gives you the right not to be forced to implicate yourself in any case and, by remaining silent, you preserve your rights.
Charges will be carried differently depending on what the complaint includes, this includes whether violence was involved, stalking, threatening, damage of property or if a restarining order was violated.
The criminal defense attorneys of Banks & Brower have over 40 years of combined legal experience. Having an attorney on your side makes a favorable outcome much more likely. You have a right to legal representation and you have the ability to choose a lawyer who has the experience and expertise to handle domestic violence cases with expertise and compassion.
What is a Domestic Violence Offense?
- Threatening to assault a person
- Destroy the property of that person, attempt or threaten to destroy something
- Harassing or making the person feel intimidated
- Violating a restraining order or Apprehended Violence Order
What is defined as a domestic relationship?
- Parties involved are married or have been married
- The couple has or is living together on a genuine domestic basis
- Are or has been their relative
- Have or is having an intimate relationship, not always sexual
- Are in a de-facto relationship
What is Defined as Family Violence?
Indiana law states that domestic or family violence means, except for an act of self-defense, the occurrence of at least one of the following acts committed by a family or household member:
- Attempting to cause, threatening to cause, or causing physical harm to another family or household member.
- Placing a family or household member in fear of physical harm.
- Causing a family or household member to involuntarily engage in sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress.
- Beating, torturing, mutilating, or killing a vertebrate animal without justification with the intent to threaten, intimidate, coerce, harass, or terrorize a family or household member.
For purposes of the protection orders, domestic or family violence also includes stalking or a sex offense, regardless of whether the stalking or sex offense is committed by a family or household member. Indiana Code 34-6-2-34.5.
In order to file for a protective order, a petitioner needs to have been a victim of: (1) Domestic or family violence; (2) Stalking; or, (3) A sex offense. However, a person may also file a petition for a protective order on behalf of a child who has been a victim of domestic or family violence, stalking, or a sex offense.
Domestic Violence Laws in Indiana
Domestic violence in Indiana is called domestic battery in state law. A person who intentionally touches a spouse, partner, or even a person they are dating, in a way that results in injury, may be charged with domestic battery. Aggravated battery occurs when there is a chance of serious injury, death, or permanent disfigurement. Causing the loss of a fetus may also incur the charge of aggravated battery.
Charges in domestic violence cases range in severity depending on many aggravating factors. Most domestic violence cases are a Class A misdemeanor. If the person charged has a prior conviction for domestic violence, they may instead be charged with a level 6 felony. If a child under the age of 16 witnesses the violence, this may also result in a level 6 felony charge.
Class A misdemeanors can result in up to a year incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines. A level 6 felony conviction carries 6 months to 2.5 years incarceration and a fine up to $10,000. Other aggravating factors could result in more severe levels of felony charges carrying more jail time and higher fines.
Domestic Violence Penalties:
- Community Service
- Jail Time
- Anger management or intervention programs
- Restraining or protective orders
- Termination of parental rights or supervised visits with children
- Deportation depending on legal status
Domestic Violence Charges in Indiana
Under Indiana Code, IC 35-42-2-1.3, a person commits:
- A Class-A Misdemeanor: when they knowingly or intentionally touch an individual, in a rude, insolent or angry manner resulting in bodily injury, who:
- Is or was a spouse of that person;
- Is or was living as if a spouse of that person
- A court shall consider the following things when determining if someone is “living as if a spouse” with another person:
- The length of the relationship;
- How often they have contact with one another;
- The financial interdependence of the two parties;
- If they raise children together;
- If they engage “in tasks directed toward maintaining a common household”; and
- Any other factor the court finds relevant
- Has a child in common with that person
- A Level 6 Felony:
- Battery with Serious Bodily Injury – Penalty can be a felony
- Strangulation – Penalty is a level 6 felony
- Invasion of Privacy – Penalty ranges from misdemeanor to felony depending on each case
- Intimidation – Penalty ranges from misdemeanor to felony
- Harassment – Penalty is a misdemeanor
- Confinement – Penalty is a level 5 or 6 felony
Read full breakdown on domestic violence charges here.
Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges
In any close relationship, tempers may flare and cause people to do or say things they should not. A spouse who is angry may make a false claim of domestic violence. If a spouse has threatened to make a false claim, you should tell someone trusted about the threat. This may help establish your contention that the accusation against you is false. If anyone was present when a threat to make a false accusation was made, they may testify on your behalf to help prove the accusation against you may be false.
If you were threatened with violence, or were being attacked and defended yourself, you may claim self-defense. If you have been repeatedly victimized yourself by the person accusing you, self-defense may also be used to explain that you were protecting yourself from greater harm.
In some cases, the victim suffered legitimate injuries, but they were not inflicted by you, or were not inflicted intentionally, you may claim the injuries were accidental, rather than a case of domestic violence. The law requires that injuries from domestic violence be intentional. If they were injured in an accident, the details of that accident may help establish that you were innocent of domestic violence. If the injuries your partner suffered were not intentionally inflicted, you may be innocent of the charges against you.