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Skilled, Knowledgeable Defense Against Domestic Battery Charges in Indiana

Domestic battery is an alleged crime against a family or household member. Other charges are sometimes filed in addition to domestic battery, including a violation of a No-Contact Order or strangulation. If you were charged with domestic battery or a related offense in Valparaiso or surrounding areas of Indiana, contact our experienced attorneys at Harper and Harper, LLC.

What Happens After An Arrest?

Many times, law enforcement is called to investigate these crimes as a result of emotional family disturbances. The entire investigation is normally a short one. The officers simply talk to the members of the household who were present – and who are usually upset – and then make a decision on whom to charge.

A typical defense can include self-defense when the other party started the physical activity or a false allegation made out of anger.

If someone is arrested for domestic battery, that person’s bond may be very high. In some courts, there’s no bond at all until the defendant can be brought personally in front of the judge for a hearing. The reason many courts do this is because they want to decide whether to issue a No-Contact Order as a condition of release.

The No-Contact Order prohibits the defendant from making contact with the alleged victim, directly or through others. Sometimes, this is extended to include other family members. Also, many times, this order states that the defendant may not return to the residence where the crime took place.

Answers To Common Questions About Domestic Battery Charges In Indiana

Below, we’ve provided answers to questions you may have about Indiana’s domestic battery laws and penalties.

What constitutes domestic battery in Indiana?

To understand this crime, it is first important to note that domestic battery is a specific type of offense, while the more commonly used term “domestic violence” refers to a range of offenses against family members (such as stalking).

Domestic battery is specifically a crime committed against a family or household member that involves intentional physical contact that is meant to cause injury or is done in a manner that is angry, rude or insolent.

What are the penalties for domestic battery in Indiana?

Specific penalties will depend on the charges. Felony offenses can result in jail time and steep fines. Even if convicted of a lesser offense, you may still experience reputational damage and a host of noncriminal consequences. A conviction may make it harder or impossible to obtain certain types of employment or to access credit. A conviction could bar you from volunteering at your child’s school or attending certain community functions.

Can the victim drop charges in a domestic battery case?

Sometimes, but not always. Prosecutors know that domestic violence victims sometimes ask to drop the charges after being threatened by their alleged abuser or pressured by other family members.

Once police have gotten involved, prosecutors can choose to proceed with the charges even if the alleged victim asks to have them dropped. It is often more difficult to secure a conviction without the cooperation of the alleged victim, but it is not impossible. For this and many other reasons, it is important to seek a defense attorney’s help as soon as possible.

Is domestic battery a felony in Indiana?

Crimes that result from these disturbances may be either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the specific allegations and other details of the case. At its lowest level, domestic battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor.

Felony charges may result when a child 16 years of age or younger is present and witnesses the alleged crime or the alleged victim is 14 years of age or younger. Felony charges may also result if the defendant has prior domestic battery convictions or if the alleged victim suffered moderate bodily injury. This is an incomplete list of charging criteria, but it serves to illustrate the considerations prosecutors make in domestic battery cases.

Can I carry a firearm if I have a domestic battery conviction in Indiana?

No, unless you have taken certain steps and gained court approval. State law prohibits someone from carrying a handgun if they have been convicted of a domestic violence-related offense. If you have a conviction on your record, you will need to petition the court to have your gun rights restored, and the court must grant the petition.

When do I need a lawyer for a domestic battery case in Indiana?

It’s critical to seek the help of a criminal defense attorney at the first signs of trouble. Domestic battery incidents are often chaotic, involving conflicting accounts and inconsistent allegations. They are often a “he said, she said” type of situation. Because of this, prosecutors may issue charges based on overstated or even false allegations.

If you contact a good defense attorney immediately, they may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely. At the very least, they can protect your rights and prevent you from saying or doing anything that might harm your case.

Discuss Your Legal Options With An Attorney For Free

At Harper and Harper, LLC, our experienced criminal defense attorneys have handled hundreds of these types of cases. If you have been charged with domestic battery, contact us online or call our Valparaiso office at 219-733-8837 to request a free initial consultation.