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Central Indiana Domestic Violence Lawyer Serving Indianapolis and Beyond
Domestic violence is one of the most commonly occurring offenses against persons in the state of Indiana. In the past year, over 65,000 crisis calls were placed to domestic violence hotlines, with Marion, Allen, Lake, St. Joseph, and Vanderburgh Counties seeing the largest number of domestic violence complaints. The vast majority of complainants are adults who are either spouses, former spouses, or intimate partners of the accused. 67 of these complaints resulted in death, caused by homicide, suicide, or overdose. Though women and children make up a large proportion of complainants, the number of police reports filed by adult men has steadily risen over the years. While many cases of domestic abuse go unreported to authorities, unfortunately, of those that are reported, several are either untrue complaints or exaggerations. Indianapolis domestic violence attorney Chris Eskew is here to help.
Because domestic violence cases are emotionally charged, there is a high risk of false accusations. When tensions mount and individuals argue, one individual may feel vindictive and desire to punish the other by seeking revenge with a false police report. Investigators oftentimes take complaint reports seriously and use the complainant’s statement as the basis to arrest someone for domestic violence.
If you have been unfairly accused of domestic violence, you need a criminal defense attorney who will look at the big picture in defending your case. Eskew Law can help you fight the charges, present a cogent defense, and attempt to restore your image and reputation.
To speak with a qualified Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer, call Eskew Law now at (317) 974-0177.
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Definition of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a special form of violence that occurs between two individuals with a special relationship. Often shortened to DV, domestic violence encompasses:
- Former spouses
- Family members
- Intimate partners
Domestic violence is a group of offenses that include:
- Some Battery Charges
- Some Homicide
- Invasion of property
- Some Criminal confinement and kidnapping
- Some Strangulation Charges
- Neglect and abuse
Domestic battery occurs between individuals who are spouses, living as spouses or have a child in common.
According to Section 35-42-2-1.3 of the Indiana Code, battery involves the knowing or intentional touching of another “in a rude, insolent, or angry manner.” The battery must result in some form of bodily injury, regardless of how minor. For a battery offense to qualify as domestic battery, the two individuals involved must be married, living together as though they were married, divorced or have a child together.
Individuals living as spouses may not be married yet but can be prosecuted under the domestic battery statute. The judge will consider:
- The length of the relationship
- How often they see or speak to each other
- Whether assets or money are comingled
- Whether they have children together
- Whether they share household chores
Domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor. However, it becomes a felony if the accused has a prior conviction, if the victim is pregnant or committed the act in front of a child under 16 years old.
If the battery is of a more serious nature, such as causing serious bodily injury or substantial risk of death, then more serious charges such as battery resulting in serious bodily injury or aggravated battery may be charged.
Often a victim will decide they want to take the other partner back, which can lead to the alleged victim not showing up in court or for depositions. They may also become uncooperative with the prosecutor after some time has passed. A lot of times if there is no cooperation from the victim and there are not other charges or witnesses, the prosecutor may not be able to prove their case and they might be forced to dismiss the charges. For this reason many prosecutor’s offices have prosecutors that only handle domestic battery cases and in some instances have victim advocates to assist with maintaining contact with victims.
When domestic violence results in death, the accused can be charged with homicide, including murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter.
Domestic violence murder occurs when an individual knowingly or intentionally kills a spouse, former spouse, or family member. If the knowing or intentional killing is done in the heat of passion, it is voluntary manslaughter. If an individual commits battery that eventually results in a death, the individual can be charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Murder is a felony punishable by the death penalty or 45-65 years in state prison (55 years advised). Voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter are also felonies.
Invasion of Privacy
It is illegal to have any form of communication, including through another person, with anyone protected by a protective order or a no-contact order issued by the courts.
If you violate these orders you can be charged with Invasion of Privacy as a Class A misdemeanor.
This can be bumped up to a felony if you have already been convicted of invasion of property in the past. The State may also move to revoke your bond if you currently have a pending case.
Stalking, harassment, and impermissible contact are prohibited by Indiana law. According to Section 35-45-10-1 of the Indiana Code, stalking is “repeated or continuing harassment of” a spouse, former spouse, intimate partner, housemate, or family member “that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened and actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened.” Harassment is “repeated or continuing impermissible contact that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress.” Impermissible contact can include repeated phone calls or text messages, ringing the doorbell or knocking continuously or often, following or pursuing the complainant, and bothering others repeatedly about the complainant. Stalking is a Level 6 felony, but the crime can be charged as a Level 5 felony if the accused threatens sexual battery, serious bodily injury, or death.
Criminal Confinement and Kidnapping
According to Section 35-42-3 of the Indiana Code, restricting the liberty or movement of another person constitutes criminal confinement. Criminal confinement must be done either without the complainant’s consent or using “fraud, enticement, force, or threat of force.” Criminal confinement is a felony, but the sentence can be enhanced if the complainant is under 14 or injured or if a deadly weapon is used or serious bodily injury occurs.
Criminal confinement becomes kidnapping when the accused has used “fraud, enticement, force or threat of force” to remove an individual from a place to another.
Neglect of a Dependent/Child Selling
Indiana law prohibits the neglect and abuse of children. Neglect occurs when a parent or guardian fails to provide a dependent with basic necessities, such as food, water, shelter, and baths. Abuse occurs when a parent, guardian, or other family members physically hurts the child or touches the child in a sexual manner. Medical professionals, educational workers, and any people who suspect neglect or abuse has occurred are required to report it to the Division of Family and Children or a local Indiana police department. Aside from criminal charges, such as the battery, the accused parent may also lose parenting rights, including custody and parenting time.
Zealous Advocacy for Indianapolis Clients Accused of Domestic Violence
If you were accused of domestic violence against a spouse, former spouse, intimate partner, co-parent, housemate, or family member, in addition to a strained relationship with your loved ones and reputational damage, you face a variety of negative consequences, including incarceration, loss of employment, and loss of parenting rights.
To combat these consequences and defend yourself against false or unfair accusations, you need an Indianapolis domestic violence lawyer with the legal acumen, compassion for client service, passion for justice, and courtroom experience necessary to handle your case. Eskew Law takes this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. Call our office at (317) 974-0177 to schedule a consultation today.
Charged with a 2nd Offense Domestic Violence Charge in IndianaPublished in Criminal Law by Chris Eskew on May 25, 2022.
Given the startling rate of domestic violence in Indiana, police, and prosecutors take domestic violence offenses very seriously. With a skilled defense attorney by your side,...Read more
How to Successfully Recant a Domestic Violence StatementPublished in Criminal Law by Chris Eskew on Sep 23, 2022.
Please note that our law firm practices law solely in the state of Indiana, and therefore cannot provide legal services outside of this jurisdiction. An argument between sp...Read more
What Happens When Police Are Called for Domestic Violence?Published in Criminal Law by Chris Eskew on Aug 15, 2022.
The dynamic between family or household members can be complicated. A relationship of any kind can be passionate and loving one minute and tumultuous, hostile, and aggressive ...Read more