Involved in a Domestic Violence Dispute in Indiana?
Qualified Indiana criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge, skill and experience that will provide you with the best possible defense for your case
Facing Domestic Violence Charges
The immediate need of a defense attorney after being arrested for a domestic violence dispute is no simple matter. If you are being charged with domestic violence, this complicated matter can certainly make you feel as if there are no solutions to your situation. In many cases, a domestic violence defendant can face being ordered to leave his or her home; being prohibited to visit or even see his or her children; and can even demand imprisonment. While these are some of the most severe results of being charged with domestic violence, they are nonetheless common results. In many cases, defendants will also run the risk of losing his or her employment. This is particularly true if the defendant works in the justice field or public sector.
If you have been accused and charged with domestic violence, an expert attorney can champion for your rights. A criminal defense attorney will see that the charges you are facing fit your crime. Further, he or she will fight to protect your rights and see these rights are upheld and protected.
The United States Department of Justice website defines domestic violence as being a recurring behavior which is abusive in a relationship. This abusive behavior is typically caused by one individual on to the other in order to be controlling or gain power over him or her. Domestic violence can take many forms. It can be sexual abuse, or even economic abuse. Domestic violence can also be psychological abuse. Threatening, which negatively influences a victim, can also be considered domestic violence. The most commonly known form of domestic violence is physical, however, in which on partner physically hurts or injures the other. In domestic violence disputes, abusive patterns of behavior can include, but are not limited to:
- A recurring humiliation of an individual;
- Purposefully terrorizing or coercing the other individual; and/or
- Repeatedly intimidating and manipulating a victim.
While domestic violence is most commonly initiated between intimate partners, domestic violence can also be a charge concerning anyone who lives under the same household. For example, domestic violence can happen between parents and children, grandparents, or any other individual who lives in the same property. No relation to the individual is necessary.
What Are The Indiana Penalties If You Are Charged?
If you are officially determined guilty in domestic violence charges, Indiana penalties range from a misdemeanor to felony classification, depending on the severity of the crime (such as, the difference between witness intimidation and aggravated assault). Common domestic violence charges that would be considered misdemeanors are included in the following crime classes:
- Class A Misdemeanor. Generally, domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor, though it can raise to a Level 6 (lowest level) felony charge if the person has a prior domestic battery conviction or it was committed near a child under 16 who could have seen or heard the incident. Punishable by up to 1 year incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000
- Class B Misdemeanor. Basic battery is typically a Class B misdemeanor. Punishable by up to 180 days incarceration and a fine of up to a $1,000
Most of Indiana’s anti-domestic abuse policy, however, will be included in felony classification rather than misdemeanor. Common domestic violence felonies fall into these levels:
- Level 1 Felony. Aggravated battery that results in the death of a child under 14 by a defendant at least 18 years old is a Level 1 felony. Punishable by 20-40 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Level 2 Felony. Voluntary manslaughter is a Level 2 felony. Punishable by 10-30 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000
- Level 3 Felony. Aggravated battery (that does NOT, as with a Level 1 Felony, result in the death of a change under the age of 14) s a Level 3 felony. Punishable by 3-16 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Level 4 Felony. Criminal stalking is a Level 4 felony when the act is committed while the person has a deadly weapon or has a prior stalking conviction against the same victim. Punishable by 2-12 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Level 5 Felony. Criminal stalking may fall into the Level 5 classification if: the stalker threatens sexual battery, serious bodily injury, or death; domestic violence protection order has been issued to protect the victim from the stalker; divorce, paternity, juvenile court, workplace violence, or similar judicial order has been issued to protect the victims; and/or the stalking violates a pretrial release or no-contact probation condition. Punishable by 1-6 years incarceration and a fine up to $10,000.
- Level 6 Felony. Criminal stalking, without any of the aggravating factors noted above in Level 4 or 5, is a Level 6 Felony. It is punishable by 6 months to 2.5 years incarceration and a fine up to $10,000.
The primary factors influencing which type of penalty is likely to be imposed are the following:
- The victim’s relationship to you; for instance, domestic violence against one of your parents, versus domestic violence against a spouse or live-in partner.
- The nature of the purposeful terrorizing and/or coercing of the other individual; and/or
- Repeatedly intimidating and manipulating a victim, and to what extent this effected the victim’s daily life.
Facing Wrongful Domestic Violence Accusations
Unfortunately, there are countless situations in which one individual wrongfully accuses his or her partner of committing domestic violence. Aggrieved partners are able to make a simple accusation that will spark an investigation, which can ultimately change a person’s life. When feeling angry or betrayed, a resentful partner can make a wrongful accusation in an attempt to get revenge. Messy divorces or separations can often be a difficult situation to experience and if children are involved, it is common to see false accusations arise due to the attempt to gain sole custody of the children. These types of cases can quickly become very stressful and traumatic. A dangerous battle of hearsay can take a complete hold on your entire life. False accusations can be common and if this is your case, contacting an expert attorney can help overturn your case.
The Repercussions of Being Accused of Domestic Violence
Being charged with domestic violence can be one of the most devastating crimes you can be charged with. If you have been accused and charged with domestic violence, it is important that you know that this type of case can affect your employment. It can also affect any future employments and/or promotions. Hiring a qualified attorney who has experience in the matter can greatly benefit your case. An expert attorney will be able to determine if the charges filed against you fit your actions. He or she will also be able to see that your civil rights are being upheld.
If you have been blamed and charged with domestic violence, the implications of such can take an immediate effect on your life. Before you are legally convicted, you can be forced to move out of your home and you can also be prohibited to have contact with your children, if they are underage. Many domestic violence convictions can indicate a denial or severe visiting limitations with your children. In the worst cases, a conviction can implicate a complete loss your child’s custody. In addition to losing parental rights, a domestic violence defendant can be imprisoned, pay fines or post bail, be ordered to enroll in anger management programs, counseling, or even be placed in probation.
Defend Your Case
Being charged with domestic violence can have serious and immediate consequences. Unbeknown to many defendants, investigations can begin immediately without the need of much evidence. It is important that you begin working on your defense case sooner, rather than later. Don’t wait until it becomes harder to prove your case, begin defending your case immediately. Hiring an expert criminal defense attorney can be beneficial to your case. False accusations can happen to anyone, and even if that is not your case, you still have rights that can and should be protected. A qualified attorney should be knowledgeable and experienced in investigating the complications and difficulties of a domestic violence case. A professional attorney will also be sympathetic to the emotional nature of the case. A qualified criminal defense attorney will have the knowledge, skill and experience that will provide you with the best possible defense to your case.