In Indiana, domestic violence charges are taken very seriously and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense. Harsh penalties are imposed on people convicted of violent crimes. Domestic violence charges are often accompanied by assault charges and even restraining orders, making the penalties even more serious.
Facing domestic violence charges can be extremely difficult because you deal with overwhelming negative emotions and severe consequences. If you are accused of domestic violence, it is crucial to have a reliable Indiana criminal defense attorney by your side who fully understands the scope of the charges against you and is committed to resolving your case as favorably as possible.
Why Do I Need a Domestic Violence Attorney in Indiana?
When someone mistakenly or unjustly accuses someone else of domestic violence, the defendant’s professional and personal lives are at stake. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, it is important to seek legal assistance from any credible Elkhart domestic violence attorneys who can defend you against any baseless claims.
At Wilson & Kinsman LLC, we provide tenacious and aggressivelegal representation for those charged with violent crimes in Indiana. We know dealing with a domestic violence case is never easy, but our legal team is prepared to help you and your loved ones every step of the way. We strive to reduce the impact of an arrest, charge, or conviction. If you have children, we can also help you protect your right to custody and visitation with them. You can trust that we will do everything in our power to defend your reputation, parental rights, and freedom.
Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about your legal options.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence refers to a wide range of actions committed by one person against another in any type of domestic relationship, including marriage, cohabitation, and family relations. Acts of domestic violence can jeopardize a family, impose irreversible psychological harm, and cause grave and life-changing injuries. A knowledgeable Elkhart domestic violence attorney can help you understand the nature of this criminal charge.
In Indiana, domestic violence crimes include incidents where the defendant uses or attempts to use physical force or threatens to use a deadly weapon against a family or household member. It is often a person with a close relationship with the alleged abuser. Family or household members include:
someone related by blood, adoption, or marriage
a former or current spouse, dating partner, or sexual partner
a former or current guardian, ward, custodian, or foster parent
someone who shares a child with the person
What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges in Indiana?
The penalties for domestic violence are weighty, and the penalties for aggravated domestic violence are even more severe. Depending on the circumstances, domestic violence charges can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Level 2 felony. If you are convicted of a domestic violence offense, you will have to deal with far more than fines, incarceration, civil protective order restrictions, and loss of gun rights.
If convicted of a felony, you will have to cross numerous hurdles with a crime on your permanent record. You also may need to abide by the strict rules of probation for years after you finish a prison sentence. For these reasons, it is imperative to work with a qualified Elkhart, IN domestic violence lawyer who can help reduce or dismiss the charges and avoid harsh penalties.
The penalties for domestic violence charges include:
A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.
A Level 2 felony is punishable by 10 to 30 years of imprisonment. A felony conviction can also result in a fine of up to $10,000.
A Level 3 felony is punishable by three to 16 years of imprisonment.
A Level 4 felony is punishable by two to 12 years of imprisonment.
A Level 5 felony is punishable by one to six years of imprisonment.
A Level 6 felony is punishable by six months to three years of imprisonment.
What are the Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges in Indiana?
While the law might not always be in your favor, being accused of domestic violence doesn’t have to mean the end of your life. There are a lot of defenses to domestic violence cases. A competent Elkhart domestic violence lawyer will analyze all of the facts and determine the strongest defense strategy, such as arguing:
Self-defense or defense of others is one of the most common defenses to violence charges. In this situation, the defendant should prove that the threat is imminent and sudden and that there was no time to think about and avoid the situation. However, keep in mind that the means employed to defend oneself should be reasonable, such that there is no foul play or overuse of force.
If you have been repeatedly victimized by the person accusing you, self-defense can be a reason to explain that you were protecting yourself from greater harm. Furthermore, it is substantial to note that you cannot argue self-defense if you started or escalated the incident in question.
The domestic violence charges filed against the defendant could be fabricated or false. There may be several reasons why someone in your household might falsely accuse you of domestic violence.
In any close relationship, tempers may flare and cause people to do or say things they should not. An angry spouse may make a false claim of domestic violence. The alleged victim may have been motivated by revenge, hatred, or jealousy beyond the defendant’s comprehension. The best way to defend against deliberately false domestic violence accusations is to find inconsistencies in the plaintiff’s testimony of what happened to prove that he or she is lying.
In every domestic violence offense, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant acted with intent – that is, that the defendant acted violently or made threats on purpose. Hence, if the alleged victim’s injuries were the result of an accident that was not committed intentionally, it would not meet the requirements to be considered an act of domestic violence.
Some domestic violence cases can be simple accidents that are not bound to happen. There could be other intervening circumstances that led to the incident beyond the control of any of the parties. This circumstance should free the defendant from liability for lack of criminal intent to abuse anyone. You should not have to pay the price of a criminal charge for something that was not intentional.
Domestic violence convictions can be devastating for you and your family. The outcome of a domestic violence case can leave you with a lifetime of consequences that can affect your job, family, and social life. Domestic violence charges are tricky, and oftentimes, groundless, so anyone blamed for the crime needs proper representation to protect themselves and their future.
If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic violence, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice from our seasoned Elkhart domestic violence attorneys at Wilson & Kinsman LLC as soon as possible. Our criminal defense law firm has successfully helped clients in Elkhart County and its surrounding areas navigate complicated domestic violence issues that affect their divorce and child custody cases. We will immediately investigate the details of your case and gather sufficient evidence on your behalf. We will negotiate reduced charges, argue for a lighter sentence, or even get the charges dismissed.
Protect your rights and secure your freedom today. Call our law office now and schedule an initial consultation with our experienced criminal defense lawyers.
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