Battery Charges: What Can Happen When a Teacher Hits a Student?
In March 2022, a now-retired Indiana teacher was arrested for battery and charged with a Level 6 felony after hitting a student in a school hallway.
Surveillance footage shows high school teacher Michael Hosinski grabbing a student’s rucksack before slapping him across the back of the head, and according to the Baugo school board, the student suffered visible injuries. The case raises questions about what battery is and how you can challenge video evidence in court, however damning the footage might be.
Title 35 of the Indiana Code broadly defines battery as touching someone in an angry, rude, or insolent way.
Under Indiana state law, battery is usually a Class B misdemeanor. However, it could be a Class A misdemeanor if you physically injure someone, or even a Level 6 felony if your actions cause someone “moderate” bodily injury. “Moderate” bodily injury, under the Indiana Code, includes any physical injury that causes “substantial pain.”
For a Level 6 felony, you could be fined up to $10,000 and face jail time of up to two-and-a-half years. Since there is a wide range of actions that may cause a victim significant pain–including hitting someone–you could face serious charges if you’re arrested for battery, so hire a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Surveillance footage can prove problematic, depending on what it shows. However, remember, everyone is innocent until proven guilty in court. It may be possible to challenge a video’s admissibility as evidence on grounds such as:
- the video is not authentic
- you cannot be clearly identified
- the video does not support the victim’s allegations, e.g., it does not show the victim being injured in the way described
Even if there’s video footage against you, a criminal defense lawyer will consider every angle to help you fight your case.
The Hosinski case shows that battery is a serious offense, and video evidence should always be carefully examined. If you’re facing battery charges, you need a criminal defense attorney on your side. For a free case evaluation, contact Razumich & Associates, PC at 317-449-8661.