WHAT IS DOMESTIC BATTERY?
Domestic Battery is knowingly and intentionally touching someone you have a domestic relationship with in a way that is rude, insolent or angry manner. Under Indiana’s legal code (IC §35-42-2-1.3), domestic battery is a battery offense that is committed against a person who fits one of the following categories:
- Is or was the offender’s spouse.
- A person the offender was living with as if the two individuals were spouses.
- A person with whom the offender shares a child with.
Convictions for domestic battery have a wide range of potential penalties. The basic offense of domestic battery is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. It’s important to note that under Indiana Code § 35-50-3-1, the sentence for a Class A Misdemeanor may be suspended by the court. Additionally, for a Misdemeanor offense, the offender may be entitled to probation. The combined term of the sentence and probation may not exceed one year.
A Level 6 Felony:
- If they are at least eighteen (18) years of age,
- They touch a family or household member,
- In a rude, insolent or angry manner resulting in bodily injury, and
- 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.
If the offense is a Level 6 felony, the lowest level of felony in Indiana, the defendant may be sentenced to between six months and three years in prison and fined up to $10,000.
A Level 5 Felony:
- it results in serious bodily injury(permanent disfigurement, unconsciousness, extreme pain, loss of a fetus, or any permanent or drawn-out loss or impairment of a bodily function or organ);
- it’s committed with a deadly weapon. (which can include almost anything except for a handful of statutory exceptions for things like tasers or mace that are designed to temporarily incapacitate);
- the victim is pregnant;
- the defendant has been previously convicted of domestic battery and does it again to the same person;
- it results in bodily injury to someone under 14;
- the defendant is a caretaker, and the victim is an endangered or disabled adult who suffers bodily injury.
If the offense is a Level 6 felony, the lowest level of felony in Indiana, the defendant may be sentenced to between six months and three years in prison and fined up to $10,000. The sentence for a Level 5 felony is between one and six years, plus a fine of up to $10,000. More serious felonies merit even more serious sentences, with the maximum, for a Level 2 felony, being between ten and thirty years and a fine of $10,000.
OTHER Related OFFENSES:
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
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
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.
Obtain Legal Representation:
Have you been charged with domestic battery in Kosciusko or in the surrounding area? If so, our criminal defense lawyers at Vanderpool Law Firm, PC can provide the tough legal representation you need. We have assisted several clients in Kosciusko, Wabash and several other counties. Give us a call or use our contact us form for a consultation today!