Domestic Violence Laws In Indiana: An Overview
Indiana has strict domestic violence statutes which involve imposing ‘no contact’ orders between participants, many times husbands and wives are separated as well as parents from children depending on the allegation of violence.
Simple Battery in Indiana involves a rude, insolent, or angry touching of another person. That Battery becomes a domestic violence case when the person allegedly battered is a “family or household member”. Indiana defines a family or household member as a current or former spouse, a current or former date, a person with whom there is a present or past sexual relationship, a person related by adoption or blood, a person who is or was related by marriage, and, a person who has or had a legally established relationship such as a foster parent or legal guardian. Broad definitions to cover many circumstances.
A domestic violence arrest will result in a ‘cooling off’ period where no bail is allowed and you must sit in jail usually for 24 hours or until brought before a judge. A ‘no contact’ order – even between you and your spouse or children – can be entered until the court assesses any future danger to any of the parties. You will lose your right to possess firearms and if convicted, that 2nd Amendment right is lost for a minimum of 5 years and cannot be restored without petition to the court.
A domestic violence charge and conviction can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the seriousness of the injury or upon whether the act was committed in the presence of minor children.
A conviction for domestic battery will require probation and completion of either anger management or a batterer’s intervention program, usually at the discretion of the probation department, although sometimes this can be negotiated with the prosecutor in charge. Almost every county has a domestic violence prosecutor.
In the decades following the OJ Simpson events in California, most States, Indiana included, beefed up their enforcement and prosecution of domestic battery cases. Overall this is in the public interest, though it can go too far and simple disagreements can be overblown.
Many times one’s spouse wants to ‘take back’ the charges she made in the heat of the moment. The wife may have even told police she did not want her husband arrested or prosecuted. Nonetheless, once the police investigate, the State of Indiana has an interest in the case and although your spouse is helpful in resolution, the case is not ‘her case’ and she cannot necessarily control or influence the outcome. Sometimes favorable resolution can be found in counseling or in negotiation with the prosecutor being made aware of your spouse’s position to assist you.
Contact Sam Shapiro’s office to have Sam engage in the analysis and negotiation of this delicate case for you. Not all arguments or even touchings between husband and wife, or family or household members is deserving of a criminal conviction. Let Sam sort it out for you.