Domestic Battery charges are filed in Indiana when the alleged victim of the offense is a spouse or intimate partner of the defendant. While the same general facts that control all battery offenses also factor into a proper defense to a domestic battery allegation, there are additional penalties involved in being convicted of a domestic battery that require additional care in preparing your defense.
First, under federal law, a conviction for a domestic battery prohibits a person from owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition. This penalty never goes away, and obtaining a restoration of your civil liberties to allow for firearm possession is extremely difficult. A person who has lost their rights to own or possess a firearm because of a domestic battery conviction who is later caught with a firearm may be charged with a felony offense.
Second, a conviction for domestic battery can be used against the defendant in future civil proceedings to restrict or modify child custody or parenting time.
Third, if a person has a previous conviction for domestic battery, or if the alleged battery was committed in the presence of a minor child, the battery is charged as a Level 6 Felony rather than as a Class A Misdemeanor.
The collateral consequences of being convicted of a domestic battery crime are long-lasting, and need to be treated seriously. Believing that your spouse or significant other will not show up to court is an easy way to find yourself wearing a prison uniform when you could have been wearing street clothes. Additionally, depending on any previous criminal history that you may have, there may be mandatory, non-suspendable time that would need to be served if you are convicted of a domestic battery crime.
Being accused of a domestic battery offense is just as serious as being accused of any other criminal offense, and should not be treated lightly. If you have been accused of a domestic battery offense, you need an attorney who will fight to ensure that your case is properly defended. We can help, and we encourage you to contact me immediately so that we can begin discussing the facts of your case.