In Indiana, a misdemeanor is a crime punishable by up to a year in jail. Like most kinds of Battery, the domestic variety usually starts as a misdemeanor charge. Under Indiana law, Battery occurs where someone “knowingly or intentionally touches another person in a rude, insolent, or angry manner” (IC 35-42-2-1(b)(1)). There are always things you can do, however, to make your battery charge more serious.
The same goes for Domestic Battery, which is defined in the same terms, except that it must occur between two parties who are spouses, ex-spouses, domestic partners, former domestic partners, or who have a child in common. Domestic Battery starts as a misdemeanor, but there are two separate ways in which the charge can be enhanced to a felony: one concerns your criminal history, and the other involves context. If you’re charged with Domestic Battery and you already have a Domestic Battery conviction, the new charge will be a Level 6 felony (IC 35-42-2-1.3(b)(1)). It’s possible, however, to be charged with Level 6 felony Domestic Battery even if you have no prior convictions. If the alleged Battery was committed “in the physical presence of a child less than sixteen years of age, knowing that the child was present and might be able to see or hear the offense,” it will be charged as a felony (IC 35-42-2-1.3(b)(2)). A Level 6 felony is punishable by up to two-and-a-half years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. Keep in mind, the potential severity of the charges isn’t capped at Level 6—things can always get worse, depending on the amount of physical damage you’ve inflicted.
A felony conviction is a terrible burden, and it could spell disaster for your career, your family life, and your future in general. A felony on your record can influence your parenting guidelines, which directly affects the amount of time you’re allowed to spend with your children. In many cases, a Domestic Battery conviction doesn’t even need to be a felony to prevent you from accompanying your child on a school field trip. Additionally, Indiana law prohibits convicted domestic batterers from possessing firearms (IC 35-47-4-6). This penalty can be especially problematic for police officers, security guards, members of the military or any Second Amendment enthusiast.
At the Marc Lopez Law firm, we take Domestic Battery cases seriously. We know that cases like these can have long-term detrimental effects in almost all areas of your life, whether they’re charged as felonies or not. Domestic Battery can have serious consequences even as a misdemeanor offense. If you or someone you love is facing a domestic battery charge, the attorneys at Lopez Law are ready to help. Call us at 317-632-3642 for a free consultation.