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Three things to know about Indiana law and domestic violence

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2023 | Assault Charges

Indiana officials are cracking down on domestic violence throughout the state. Lawmakers recently received a round of funding for efforts related to domestic violence and sexual assault. The funding goes to various sheriff and prosecutor offices as well as nonprofits that provide advocacy and counselling. This translates to aid that can include assistance with:

  • Restraining and protective orders;
  • Child custody matters; and
  • Issues finding housing.

The funds are available beginning October 1.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a legal term, and the exact definition can vary by state. In Indiana, state law refers to domestic violence as domestic battery. It defines it as a person who knowingly or intentionally touches or places bodily fluid or waste on a family member in a rude or angry way.

What are the penalties?

The charges range from misdemeanor to felony. If convicted of a felony, the accused can face up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. If a felony, the penalties increase and can include a $10,000 fine and three to thirty years in jail, depending on the details of the charges.

What are the defenses?

It is not uncommon to face these charges and consider a guilty plea with the hope that you can move on with your life. Unfortunately, the penalties outlined above are often just the beginning. Those with children may also struggle to get custody or visitation rights. A criminal record can also result in difficulties finding employment, housing, and even getting opportunities for higher levels of education.

Because the penalties are so severe it is important to take allegations of domestic battery seriously. Defenses are available, and the right strategy will depend on the situation and can include negotiations to reduce the charges. Legal counsel can help to ensure better you understand all available options and choose the one that is best for your future.