Because of the emotional nature of these charges, even small disputes can get blown out of proportion. A no-contact order or an order of protection may be lodged against you, and it could bar you from entering your home or seeing your children. This is why we work to negotiate with prosecutors to get orders lifted or request a court date as soon as possible.
At The Criminal Defense Team, our Board Certified* lawyers have developed certain strategies and methods to defend clients accused of both felony and misdemeanor domestic battery. This puts our clients in the best position to receive the best outcome. Our firm has successfully defended both men and women accused of felony and misdemeanor domestic battery.
It is not uncommon for our lawyers to convince prosecutors not to file charges if clients hire us quickly. Once charges are filed, it is not uncommon to have charges dismissed. When prosecutors are unwilling to give us the type of outcome that our clients deserve (whether it be dismissal or a reasonable plea agreement), we will need to go to trial. The Criminal Defense Team has defeated prosecutors all over the state of Indiana, winning both felony and misdemeanor domestic battery charges.
It takes years of experience and a team of dedicated criminal defense lawyers to know what defense strategies to utilize to receive the best outcome for people accused of domestic battery. We have that experience, and we have the team.
Your case deserves to be surrounded by experience. Call (317) 687-8326 now to speak to an attorney.
Our team of lawyers is 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.
Types of Domestic Violence Offenses
Domestic violence, also referred to as domestic battery, is defined as intentionally or knowingly:
- Touching a member of the family or household in an insolent, angry, or rude manner; or
- Placing any bodily fluid or waste in a rude, insolent, or angry manner on a family member or household member.
The victim could be anyone who has a special relationship with the offender, such as:
- Current or former spouse
- Intimate partner
- Family member
- Parent, guardian, or foster parent
Domestic violence is a broad category of offenses that could include:
- Domestic battery
- Criminal stalking
- Invasion of privacy or property
- Criminal trespassing
- Violation of a protective order
- Aggravated battery
- Criminal confinement
- Neglect and abuse
You could face a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the offense you committed and the circumstances surrounding that offense. Some offenses come with mandatory jail time. However, if you used a deadly weapon, that could result in additional charges and more time behind bars.
The Criminal Defense Team understands the different types of domestic violence charges and the various penalties you could face. When you hire The Criminal Defense Team, we can review the facts of the case to determine the best way to defend you to get those charges reduced or dropped.
Steps To Take After An Arrest for Domestic Violence
If you get arrested for domestic violence or another associated offense, there are steps you should immediately take to protect your rights and avoid making a mistake that could negatively impact the outcome of your case. When a police officer slaps handcuffs on your wrists and transports you to the police station, it can be a stressful experience. You might not be able to think straight and make good decisions during legal proceedings. With The Criminal Defense Team by your side, we will ensure everyone treats you fairly and doesn’t violate your rights.
Protect yourself after an arrest by following these steps:
Do not run away. If an officer shows up to arrest you, remain calm and allow them to go through the arrest process. They should read you your rights and notify you of the reason for the arrest. Pay attention to everything that happens. If they violate your rights, that might help your case.
Treat the officer with respect. Don’t give the officer an attitude or try to convince them of your innocence. Remain respectful throughout the entire arrest and booking process. If you’re aggressive or violent, that could exacerbate the situation and lead to additional criminal charges.
Invoke your right to remain silent. The officer might question you about the offense and try to obtain specific information. It’s crucial that you tell them you want to speak with a lawyer. They should stop questioning you at that point. You might think it would be in your best interest to explain what happened because then the officer might release you. However, that could make the situation worse. You want to refrain from saying anything that could incriminate you.
Hire a lawyer from The Criminal Defense Team. The stigma of domestic violence could follow you for the rest of your life. Even if you’re innocent, a mere allegation could have a significant impact on your life. You don’t want to leave your fate in the hands of an inexperienced or unqualified attorney. Our team has over 120 years of combined legal experience. We can take the responsibility of a complex legal case off your shoulders and prepare an effective strategy to use in your case.
Write down as many detailed notes as possible. You should recall all the information surrounding your arrest, charges, booking, and time in jail awaiting your first hearing. If someone violates your rights at any time, we could use that information in court to get the charges dropped, get certain evidence suppressed, or as leverage for a plea deal. Facts are essential in a criminal case and could help you
Make preparations for court. You will have to make an initial appearance in front of a judge after your arrest. This is where you find out whether the judge agrees with the charges against you and asks that you enter a plea. After that, you will have to appear for each court date. It’s critical that you have an appropriate outfit to wear and understand how you should behave. The judge and jury could change the course of your life, so you must treat everyone with respect.
If you get released from jail until the trial begins, you must avoid committing additional crimes. Not only could another arrest affect the outcome of your current charges, but it could also result in additional charges and a longer sentence.
The Criminal Defense Team of The Criminal Defense Team can walk you through the legal process from start to finish, so you know what to expect. We have extensive experience and resources to examine every piece of evidence, poke holes in the prosecutor’s case, and determine if the better strategy would be to enter a plea agreement or battle it out in court.
Possible Penalties You Could Face for a Domestic Violence Conviction
If you get convicted of domestic violence, there are various penalties you could face, depending on the facts of the offense. Most domestic violence crimes are a Class A misdemeanor. This charge comes with a $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail. However, if extenuating circumstances exist, you could end up with a felony conviction on your criminal record.
For example, a misdemeanor offense could increase to a level 6 felony if:
- You have prior convictions for domestic battery, strangulation, battery, or aggravated battery.
- The crime led to moderate bodily injury.
- You knowingly committed the offense around a child under 16 years old.
- The victim was less than 14 years old, and you were at least 18 years old at the time.
- The victim is an endangered adult.
- You were in charge of the victim’s care and that person had a physical or mental disability.
You might face a level 5 felony, with harsher penalties if:
- The victim was pregnant, you knew about the pregnancy, and they suffered bodily injury.
- The victim was under 14 years old or was an endangered adult and suffered serious bodily injury, and you were their caregiver at the time of the offense.
- The victim sustained severe bodily injury.
- You committed the crime with a deadly weapon.
- You have a prior conviction of battery against the same victim.
There are different levels/classes of felonies and misdemeanors. Indiana follows sentencing guidelines for each level to determine an appropriate prison sentence and fine. Each comes with a range that the judge could choose from depending on the circumstances that exist in your case.
Domestic violence penalties:
Violation of a protective order is a class A misdemeanor. However, if the offender has a prior conviction under Indiana statute 35-46-1-15.1, unrelated to the current charge, it could increase to a level 6 felony.
Aggravated battery involves someone knowingly or intentionally causing another person’s injury that could lead to death or causes:
- Loss of a fetus;
- Serious permanent disfigurement; or
- Protracted loss or impairment of a bodily member or organ.
This is a level 3 felony; however, if the crime caused the death of someone under 14 years old while the defendant was at least 18 years old, it would be a level 1 felony.
Strangulation is an offense that comes with level 6 felony penalties. It increases to a level 5 felony if:
- The victim was pregnant, and the offender knew that they were pregnant; or
- The defendant has a prior unrelated conviction found in Indiana statute 35-42-2-9.
The judge could also look to an advisory sentence for any felony domestic battery conviction. Instead of choosing a number within the range for imprisonment, they could turn to the advisory sentence and use that as a starting point. They would then be able to decrease or increase the sentence depending on any extenuating circumstances.
The advisory sentencing guidelines are:
|Level 1 felony||30 years|
|Level 2 felony||17 ½ years|
|Level 3 felony||9 years|
|Level 4 felony||6 years|
|Level 5 felony||3 years|
|Level 6 felony||1 year|
Common Defenses Used In Domestic Violence Cases
The Criminal Defense Team knows how to effectively defend clients facing domestic violence charges. We will thoroughly investigate what happened and review all the available legal options. We will choose the best defense strategy to use for your situation.
It might be better for some people to enter a plea agreement, especially if the prosecutor has a strong case. For others, the evidence isn’t substantial enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning a not guilty verdict is entirely possible. What we decide to do will depend on your specific legal goals and the circumstances of your crime.
The most common defenses used in domestic violence cases include:
- Self-defense – You might have been acting in self-defense. You didn’t inflict harm on the other person without reason. They initiated an altercation, and you had to use physical force to protect yourself, leading to their injuries.
- False allegations – Some domestic violence cases result from the victim lying about what happened during the incident or ultimately making up a violent situation. It’s typically because they’re looking for revenge or want to gain custody of their children during a custody battle.
- Innocent – It’s entirely possible that you didn’t commit domestic violence. An alibi proving you were somewhere else at the time of the offense is critical with this type of defense. We could also investigate any physical evidence left at the scene, locate witnesses, and obtain video surveillance.
- Accident – Maybe you did cause physical harm to the victim, but you didn’t do it intentionally. We would need to show that the victim’s injuries are consistent with your story.
- Reasonable doubt – The prosecutor must prove that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If we can find evidence that puts guilt in the juror’s minds, that might be enough to reach a not guilty verdict. It’s also possible to get the charges dropped or reduced if sufficient evidence doesn’t exist or a key witness whose testimony the prosecutor’s case hinges upon refuses to testify.
- Violation of rights – If law enforcement violated your rights at any time, such as performing an illegal search of your home or arresting you without reading your Miranda rights to you, we might be able to suppress evidence or get the case dismissed.
Contact The Criminal Defense Team Today
The best chance you have against the charges you’re facing is with The Criminal Defense Team. Public defenders may have the necessary experience to defend their clients. However, they’re usually overloaded with cases. They can’t spend time investigating each case to present the best arguments and evidence in court. At The Criminal Defense Team, we work as a team to get the job done. We have unlimited resources to build a case that reaches a favorable outcome.
We know this is a frightening time in your life. Domestic violence is a serious offense that comes with strict penalties. It can ruin your reputation and hurt your family. If you have to serve time in prison, you will likely face various challenges upon your release. Felony convictions stay on a person’s criminal record for years. It’s also a matter of public record so prospective employers could see it. You could have trouble finding a good job, lose custody of your children, and be unable to vote or carry a firearm.
The Criminal Defense Team wants to ensure you don’t lose your freedom or future. We will fight by your side to protect your rights during criminal proceedings and do our best to defend you against the domestic violence charges. Don’t wait to seek representation from The Criminal Defense Team. Call us at (317) 687-8326 right now if you were arrested or charged with domestic violence. We will be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your case.