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Criminal Defense is What We Do
Many battery (including domestic battery) allegations involve two or more people who tell different versions to the police. In our firm, we call this a “he said, she said” case. Often, both parties may be at fault, but the better fighter is the one that gets charged with a crime. Sometimes a person was only defending themselves. In Indiana, self-defense is a recognized legal concept. Sometimes, accusers just flat out lie about what happened but can be very convincing to prosecutors and police.
The best way to combat a battery allegation is to hire Indiana criminal defense lawyers who have a reputation for going to trial. It doesn’t hurt if they also win those trials. Our firm has handled hundreds, if not thousands, of cases involving a client accused of battery and won jury trials even with witnesses who claim that they saw the battery take place. If the prosecutor doesn’t believe that your attorney will take the case to trial, then you probably won’t get the outcome you deserve, whether that is a dismissal or a great plea. When defending someone accused of battery, we will take depositions of the accuser and other witnesses, we will scour Facebook and other social media posts and even just knock on doors looking for witnesses to help the case. There are a multitude of ways to win a battery case and we would cater the defense to your specific set of facts. However, none of that matters if your lawyer is not willing to go to trial. We are and prosecutors know it.
What is Battery?
The term “battery” has a fairly simple definition. Battery is the intentional act of touching another individual in a rude, insolent, or angry manner without permission. While simple and to the point, being charged with the crime of battery is infinitely more complex. Why? It’s because Indiana law has a wide range of different battery charges that can range from a misdemeanor all the way up to a felony charge depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident itself. An individual may even find themselves facing a battery charge when no physical harm came to the victim.
Battery is one of the most common charges that people tend to face, and yet it can carry serious consequences for those convicted of the offense. The Criminal Defense Team believes that you deserve a strong defense crafted by a team of attorneys with experience handling these types of sensitive and often emotionally charged cases.
Battery comes in all shapes and sizes, which is why the law makes specific distinctions about each battery-related offense. Each offense has its own legal definition, distinct aggravating factors, and specific penalty designations. While the word “battery” may be used as a general term for any type of intentional rude or aggressive contact, understanding the specific type of battery an individual is charged with is extremely important since battery penalties can vary significantly. In general, these are some of the most common types of battery in Indiana:
BATTERY– CLASS B MISDEMEANOR
- The improper and intentional touching of another individual in a rude, insolent, or angry manner, or in the same manner places any bodily fluid or waste on another person.
BATTERY– CLASS A MISDEMEANOR
- The improper and intentional touching of another individual in a rude, insolent, or angry manner which results in bodily injury or is committed against a person living in a foster family home by a non-resident of the home who is related to someone who does live there.
BATTERY– LEVEL 6 FELONY
- Battery that has to do with putting fluids or waste on another rises to the level of a felony when an individual knows or recklessly fails to know that body fluids or solid waste placed on another person is infected with a disease such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, or HIV.
- Battery that involves improper and intentional touching of another individual rises to a Level 6 felony when it results in bodily injury, is committed against an on-duty public safety official, happens to a person less than 14 years old by a person more than 18 years old, is committed against any person with a mental or physical disability by the person who cares for them, when the victim is an endangered adult, or when it’s committed against a member of a foster home by a non-resident who is related to a resident and results in bodily harm to the member of the foster family.
BATTERY– LEVEL 5 FELONY
- Battery may also be considered a Level 5 felony when it results in serious bodily harm to a victim, it is committed with a deadly weapon, if a pregnant woman is injured. It may also be considered a felony when it involves a protected class such as public safety officials, minors under the age of 14, the mentally disabled, or an endangered adult.
BATTERY– LEVEL 4 FELONY
- Battery may be a Level 4 felony when serious bodily injury to an endangered adult results. Endangered adults include people at least 18 years old who have incapacities due to dementia, intellectual disability, mental illness, or incapacity to manage their own self-care or property.
BATTERY– LEVEL 3 FELONY
- Battery can be a Level 3 felony if serious bodily injury occurs to a person less than 14 years of age and is committed by a person at least 18 years of age.
BATTERY– LEVEL 2 FELONY
- Battery can be a Level 2 felony when it results in the death of a person less than 14 years of age and is committed by a person at least 18 years of age, or if death results from battery committed against an endangered adult, as previously described.
DOMESTIC BATTERY– CLASS A MISDEMEANOR AND UP
- Domestic battery is the improper touching of a family member or member of the household in a rude or angry manner. This charge can quickly be escalated to a Level 6 felony if strangulation is involved or if the act of battery is witnessed by minors under the age of 16 years old. It can rise to a Level 5 felony if a family member is seriously injured, a deadly weapon is involved, or it results in injury to a pregnant woman of the household, among other aggravating factors. There are even situations where a domestic battery charge can rise all the way to a Level 2 felony if the result is death.
AGGRAVATED BATTERY– LEVEL 3 FELONY
- Aggravated battery is a specific charge that relates to an individual knowingly inflicting injury on another person and creating substantial risk for death. Aggravated battery can result in serious permanent disfigurement of a victim, the loss or impaired function of a body part or internal organ, or the loss of a fetus in the case of a pregnant victim. If an aggravated battery results in the death of a child under the age of 14 years old and is committed by an adult, it can be a Level 1 felony offense.
SEXUAL BATTERY– LEVEL 6 FELONY
- Sexual battery is when an individual touches another person in order to arouse the alleged offender or another person sexually or satisfy them in a sexual way. Sexual battery can rise to a Level 4 felony if deadly force is used or if there are deadly threats implied, the individual is armed with a deadly weapon, or if the victim was slipped drugs by the offender without the victim’s knowledge or their consent.
Awards & Affiliations
With such a wide range of charges and aggravating circumstances to consider, the penalties for a battery conviction vary drastically. No matter the level of the offense battery is a serious charge that can end up costing an individual more than just a fine. A battery conviction could result in probation, jail time, fines, or a serious and lengthy prison sentence. In addition to a combination of prison time and fines, some charges may also result in having to register as a sex offender. The penalty you may face depends on the type of battery charge and the aggravating circumstances surrounding the incident.
In general, these are the penalties you may face from a judge:
CLASS B MISDEMEANOR
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Fines up to $1,000
CLASS A MISDEMEANOR
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Fines up to $5,000
LEVEL 6 FELONY
- 6 months to 2 ½ years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
LEVEL 5 FELONY
- 1 to 6 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
LEVEL 4 FELONY
- 2 to 12 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
LEVEL 3 FELONY
- 3 to 16 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
LEVEL 2 FELONY
- 10 to 30 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
LEVEL 1 FELONY
- 20 to 40 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
The consequences of a battery conviction can haunt an individual for years. It becomes a permanent fixture on your criminal record, which is then available to the public and prospective employers. A conviction can damage your relationship with friends, family, and even co-workers, harming every major relationship you’ve ever cultivated. Battery also tends to do serious damage to an individual’s reputation, painting them as aggressive and a “loose cannon” even though people may have no knowledge about the circumstances of the incident. In essence, you become branded, and that label can follow you, becoming a permanent fixture of who you are and how people treat you.
For all these reasons, legal and personal, you need the experience and resources that The Criminal Defense Team can offer. We are dedicated to helping individuals like you fight back against any and all types of battery charges. Our team is uniquely qualified to represent you and protect your interests with quick and decisive action and a defense strategy tailored to your particular situation.
A battery charge can be serious, even life-altering. When it involves serious injury or even death, there is no question that an experienced defense attorney is required. However, even people charged with less severe offenses need and deserve an experienced and qualified defense team. Too often, people make the mistake of thinking that because someone wasn’t seriously hurt, the consequences can’t be that bad. That is a common and unfortunate misconception. Prosecutors are not taking the situation lightly and are aggressively pushing for significant consequences.
There are defense strategies that can be effective in fighting charges of battery. An experienced battery attorney can thoroughly review all aspects of a case to assess which tactics may be appropriate for the circumstances. In some circumstances, an individual may be able to claim self-defense or that the incident was an accident. Maybe they were misidentified, and it is a case of mistaken identity. Battery cases can be complex, and only a qualified defense attorney can weigh which legal defenses may be appropriate for any given situation. The important thing to remember is, no matter what, there is a defense option for you and you deserve to be able to explore those options with a seasoned attorney willing to fight for you.
Don’t fall into the trap of underestimating the severity of the charges against you or hoping that they will go away because the incident “wasn’t that bad.” If you have been charged with battery, you need immediate and skilled legal representation. Having a battery defense attorney on your side isn’t admitting fault. It is admitting that you need help protecting yourself, your family, and your reputation.
Your life is on the line. Put your trust in a defense team that has a reputation for building strong and strategic defense strategies. At The Criminal Defense Team, we pride ourselves on being there for our clients and working with them to craft a compelling and effective legal defense based on the circumstances of their situation. You deserve quality legal representation, and The Criminal Defense Team is ready and willing to help.
Our team of Indiana battery defense lawyers is Board Certified* and uniquely qualified to protect your freedom and interests. We believe in taking swift, aggressive action to out-maneuver the prosecution and build a strong defense. We’ve done it for thousands of clients and we can do it for you.
We defend clients in Hamilton County, Marion County, Johnson County, Hancock County, Shelby County, Boone County, Hendricks County and counties throughout Indiana. We can help you as well.