Published in Criminal Law by Chris Eskew on August 15, 2022.

What happens when police are called for domestic dispute

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 the next. It is vital to remain calm and cooperative if you are in a heated domestic dispute and suddenly find that the cops are at your door. The last thing you want to do is become combative with the police. That is the worst move you could possibly make in such a situation. Whether verbal or physical, a fight with the police will only add to your troubles.

In any domestic violence incident, tensions can run high, and it can be tough for the participants or police to smoothly diffuse the situation. When the police are called for a domestic violence complaint, at least one involved party will be asked to leave or be physically removed from the house. The police might even remove both parties if the circumstances warrant such action. 

While remaining calm is crucial, remaining silent is just as essential. If the police are called for domestic violence at your residence, your best course of action is to contact the criminal defense attorneys at Eskew Law. We have a decade’s experience in our pocket and can protect you right from the start of a criminal investigation.

Indiana Domestic Violence Law

Many crimes can constitute domestic violence. In Indiana, as in most states, a domestic violence charge can enhance many crimes. The Indiana statute defines crimes involving domestic or family violence as a crime that occurs when a family or household member commits, attempts to commit, or conspires to commit certain acts against another family or household member. Those acts include:

For instance, what may otherwise be a simple battery offense becomes domestic battery when it occurs between spouses. If you have been charged with any of these crimes involving a family or household member, you need to seek the advice of experienced counsel immediately. A domestic violence accusation can compound the consequences of an already consequential offense. 

Domestic Battery

In Indiana, you commit a domestic battery if you knowingly or intentionally touch someone in a rude, insolent, or angry manner that results in bodily injury. However, to qualify as domestic violence, the alleged victim must be someone who:

  1. Is or once was your spouse,
  2. Is or was once living together with you in an intimate relationship; or
  3. Has a child in common with you.

The crime described above is domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor. However, the offense becomes a Class D felony if you have a previous, unrelated domestic battery conviction on your record.

Therefore, if police are called for domestic dispute at your home, you might be facing felony or misdemeanor charges depending on the surrounding circumstances. Both can land you significant jail time and substantial fines.

Restraining Order

In addition to criminal proceedings, you might also end up on the wrong side of a protective or restraining order. Often, accusers of domestic violence request a protective order from the court. These are generally ex-parte communications between the alleged victim and the court and will unilaterally be granted or denied by a judge. An alleged victim typically seeks a temporary restraining order when the police are called for a domestic violence incident or shortly thereafter. The courts liberally grant these requests as a way of keeping alleged victims safe. A temporary restraining order can become permanent after a judicial hearing. 

If you believe someone is seeking a protective order against you, you need skilled counsel on your side. At Eskew Law, our job is to be your voice and vigorously advocate for you. 


If the police charge you with a domestic violence offense, you might have several defenses available. An experienced lawyer can assess your case and discuss possible defense strategies. You may have a valid defense to a domestic violence charge if you:

  • Acted in self-defense or the defense of others,
  • Have been falsely accused, or
  • Are not a family or household member as defined by the statute.

In addition to these defenses, it is essential to remember that the prosecutor has the burden of proof. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the offense charged. If the prosecutor cannot satisfy their burden of proof, you should be found not guilty if your case goes to trial. It is crucial to have a knowledgeable defense lawyer to advocate for you and challenge the State’s evidence.

Unforeseen Consequences

What happens when police are called for domestic violence? Our lawyers at Eskew Law, can answer this and any other questions you may have. In addition to criminal penalties, a conviction for a domestic violence offense can have many devastating and life-altering collateral consequences. It may hinder your ability to apply to the military, college, or any educational or vocational programs. A conviction can also lead to:

  • Difficulty applying for a loan or mortgage,
  • Loss of parental rights and custody,
  • Loss of the right to own firearms,
  • Immigration issues, or
  • Difficulty obtaining gainful employment.

Unfortunately, these consequences can last far beyond your sentence. A domestic violence conviction can ruin your reputation among family, friends, and your community. Don’t let a domestic violence accusation destroy your life. Contact Eskew Law to defend your rights and reputation.

Contact Our Attorneys Today

If the police are called for domestic violence, and you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, you need the sharp skills of an attorney. At Eskew Law, our lawyers provide compassionate advice. We will guide you with creative and innovative defense strategies every step of the way. We have a decade of experience providing unrivaled justice for our clients. One of our experienced attorneys will meet with you one-on-one to discuss the details of your case and strategize your most viable defenses to the charges lodged against you. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.

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Chris Eskew

Chris Eskew is the founding partner of Eskew Law. With over 15 years of experience, he focuses his practice on criminal defense, DUI defense, and family law. Chris is known for his dedication to his clients, his strong advocacy skills, and his commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes in legal matters. He is well-respected within the legal community and has earned a reputation for providing personalized and effective representation.