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Domestic Violence/Domestic Battery

If you have been charged with Domestic Battery under Indiana Code 35-32-2 you need to find a competent Indianapolis domestic violence defense lawyer immediately.

Indiana Domestic Violence Laws

Criminal charges of domestic battery, also known as domestic violence, in Indiana carry stiff consequences and often include an order of protection issued by the Court.  If convicted of domestic battery in Indiana the defendant faces jail, or even prison, in addition to anger management classes, therapy and hefty fines.

The Crime of Domestic Violence

Except for domestic battery, Indiana code does not provide for separate criminal statutes relating solely to domestic violence.  The Indiana legislature has decided that offenses such as harassment, criminal confinement, criminal trespass, and kidnapping should apply to both instances of domestic violence and non-domestic violence.

Domestic Battery

Indiana Code is § 35-42-2-1.3 (domestic battery) applies precisely to offenses involving domestic violence.  Under this section of the code a person commits a Class A Misdemeanor domestic battery if he/she cause a bodily injury to a person who is a spouse or former spouse, is or was living as if a spouse of the other person, or has a child in common with the other person.  A conviction for a Class A Misdemeanor domestic battery can result in up to one year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

The charge may be elevated to a D Felony if there has been an unrelated conviction, if the battery was committed in the physical presence of a child under 16 years old and while knowing that the child was present and might be able to see or hear the offense.  A conviction for a Class D Felony domestic battery can result in up to three years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Duties of Law Enforcement Officers

When investigating accusations of domestic battery law enforcement officials have specific duties under the Indiana Code.

A law enforcement officer responding to the scene of an alleged crime involving domestic or family violence shall use all reasonable means to prevent further violence, including the following:  (1) Transporting or obtaining transportation for the alleged victim and each child to a designated safe place to meet with a domestic violence counselor, local family member, or friend; (2) Assisting the alleged victim in removing toiletries, medication, and necessary clothing; (3) Giving the alleged victim immediate and written notice of the rights under IC 35-40.  Furthermore, a law enforcement officer may confiscate and remove a firearm, ammunition, or a deadly weapon from the scene if the law enforcement officer has: (1) probable cause to believe that a crime involving domestic or family violence has occurred; (2) a reasonable belief that the firearm, ammunition, or deadly weapon: (A) exposes the victim to an immediate risk of serious bodily injury; or (B) was an instrumentality of the crime involving domestic or family violence; and (3) observed the firearm, ammunition, or deadly weapon at the scene during the response.  And finally, if a firearm, ammunition, or a deadly weapon is removed from the scene under subsection (b), the law enforcement officer shall provide for the safe storage of the firearm, ammunition, or deadly weapon during the pendency of a proceeding related to the alleged act of domestic or family violence.

Definition of Domestic Violence or Family Violence

Indiana Code 31-9-2-42 statesDomestic or family violence" means, except for an act of self defense, the occurrence of one (1) or more of the following acts committed by a family or household member:
(1) Attempting to cause, threatening to cause, or causing physical harm to another family or household member without legal justification.
(2) Placing a family or household member in fear of physical harm without legal justification.
(3) Causing a family or household member to involuntarily engage in sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress.
(4) Beating (as described in IC 35-46-3-0.5(2)), torturing (as described in IC 35-46-3-0.5(5)), mutilating (as described in IC 35-46-3-0.5(3)), or killing a vertebrate animal without justification with the intent to threaten, intimidate, coerce, harass, or terrorize a family or household member.
For purposes of IC 22-4-15-1 and IC 34-26-5, domestic or family violence also includes stalking (as defined in IC 35-45-10-1) or a sex offense under IC 35-42-4, whether or not the stalking or sex offense is committed by a family or household member.

Obtaining an Order of Protection

IC 34-26-5-2
Persons eligible to file petition for order of protection; petition on behalf of a child; prohibition on mutual orders; jurisdiction for order sought against a minor
Sec. 2. (a) A person who is or has been a victim of domestic or family violence may file a petition for an order for protection against a:
(1) family or household member who commits an act of domestic or family violence; or
(2) person who has committed stalking under IC 35-45-10-5 or a sex offense under IC 35-42-4 against the petitioner.
(b) A parent, a guardian, or another representative may file a petition for an order for protection on behalf of a child against a:
(1) family or household member who commits an act of domestic or family violence; or
(2) person who has committed stalking under IC 35-45-10-5 or a sex offense under IC 35-42-4 against the child.
(c) A court may issue only one (1) order for each respondent. If a petitioner files a petition against more than one (1) respondent, the court shall:
(1) assign a new case number; and
(2) maintain a separate court file;
for each respondent.
(d) If a petitioner seeks relief against an unemancipated minor, the case may originate in any court of record and, if it is an emergency matter, be processed the same as an ex parte petition. When a hearing is set, the matter may be transferred to a court with juvenile jurisdiction.

When a court issues an ex parte order of protection, it must provide notice to the respondent and hold a hearing within 30 days of issuing the order.  At the conclusion of the hearing if the court grants the order of protection that order may be in effect for up to two years.   The order may comprise provisions granting or denying visitation, payment for expenses, ect…

If Accused, Call JR and Jill Emerson 317-969-8000

Charged with domestic violence, domestic battery or domestic abuse?  Accused of domestic abuse in a petition seeking an order of protection?  Then speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can assess the accusations made against you, provide sound legal advice and protect your rights.  A conviction for a domestic abuse carries very serious penalties, and your parental rights and rights as a homeowner can be dramatically affected if an order of protection is issued against you.  Contact an attorney at Emerson Law today 317-969-8000.

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Whether you are contemplating divorce, or been arrested or injured you are probably scared, unsure what will come next and what to do.  Give me a call. We will sit down, go over your options and work to find a way to move forward. Call me or another attorney. But call someone and get the help you deserve.

- JR Emerson, Attorney

I am here to help. I am not here to judge. For nearly 20 years I have been helping people in difficult situations and I would be happy to speak with you to see how I might be able to help you too.

- Jill Bracken-Emerson, Attorney


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Indianapolis, IN 46280

Phone: 1-317-969-8000

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JR Emerson is an attorney who represents men and women in family law matters including divorce, child custody modification, and child support modification in Marion County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Hamilton County, Hancock County, Madison County, Johnson County. Cities in which he practices include: Zionsville, Lebanon, Whitestown, Carmel, West Clay, Westfield, Noblesville, Fishers, Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Greenwood, Southport, Franklin, Plainfield, Avon and Danville, Indiana.

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