Domestic Battery

Compassionate Indianapolis Lawyer Protecting the Rights of Criminal Defendants

Domestic and family relationships can be complicated. If tensions rise and disagreements get out of hand, it is not uncommon for law enforcement to intervene. Because of the complex nature of these incidents, a skilled lawyer is essential to sort out the details and assert the appropriate legal arguments. Our criminal defense attorneys been assisting clients near Indianapolis in all types of criminal matters, including domestic battery, for more than 25 years. Our criminal defense attorneys have considerable trial experience, but they have also represented clients who have wished to resolve their cases in pre-trial stages. Harshman Ponist criminal lawyers have dedicated their legal careers to representing individuals facing prosecution, all the way up to the appeals level.

Domestic Battery and the Indiana Legal System

The laws of Indiana make it illegal to knowingly or intentionally touch an individual in a rude, insolent, or angry manner that results in bodily injury. This act is considered domestic battery if the behavior happens to an individual who is or was a spouse, is or has been considered the equivalent of a spouse, or has a child in common with the person committing the offense. Domestic battery is considered a misdemeanor, but it can also be charged as a felony if an individual has a prior conviction for a similar offense, or if the crime was committed in the presence of a child under the age of 16.

Because of the many types of romantic and domestic relationships, the laws of Indiana have provided a number of factors to be considered in a domestic battery case. For instance, it is common for two people to live together but never marry. Domestic battery laws apply in those situations, even if there has not been a marriage. However, in order to charge domestic battery, as opposed to the standard offense of battery, there must be a finding of specific circumstances to show that two people were living as though they were spouses. An Indiana court will look at the length of the relationship, the frequency of contact between the individuals, financial interdependence, whether the individuals are jointly raising children, and any other relevant information that indicates the individuals are sharing a common household. If a court finds that a number of these factors are present, a charge of domestic battery can be upheld.

Often, when the people involved in a domestic dispute have a chance to cool down, they may decide to take back their accusations of domestic battery. However, even if this happens, the state may still decide to go forward with a domestic battery prosecution. It is not necessary to have victim testimony to prove this case. The prosecution must still meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, though, and show that an intentional act was committed, a bodily injury occurred, and the factors establishing a domestic relationship were present.

Probation as an Alternative to Jail Time

Misdemeanor domestic battery is punishable by a sentence of up to one year of imprisonment, and up to $5,000 in fines. A felony conviction, on the other hand, is punishable by a sentence of six months to over two years, and a potential fine of up to $10,000. A skilled attorney will attempt to reduce any possible sentence down to the misdemeanor level, rather than the harsher punishment of a felony conviction. A judgment of probation, or a suspended sentence, may be a possibility with a conviction of misdemeanor domestic battery. Sentencing might also consist of completing an intervention program. These outcomes may be possible instead of jail time, and Harshman Ponist will work hard to look into these potential alternatives.

Contact a Skilled Misdemeanor Attorney to Fight an Indianapolis Prosecution

A conviction of domestic battery can be humiliating and can significantly affect your personal and professional life. If you face accusations of domestic violence in Indianapolis, contact our office. We will listen to your side of the story and discuss your options before crafting a strategy specific to your circumstances. To schedule a meeting with us, call (317) 964-6000 or contact us online today. We help criminal defendants throughout Marion County and the state of Indiana.