In the state of Indiana, domestic violence is taken very seriously. The state has put in place many laws and penalties to crack down on those who commit domestic violence and to protect victims of domestic violence. As many as 40% of women and 27% of men in Indiana will be impacted by domestic violence in some way.
Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical violence, sexual violence, animal cruelty, and more. Read more to get guidance on what domestic abuse means in this state.
What Is Domestic Violence in Indiana?
Domestic violence is any kind of abuse that occurs between family members, intimate partners, or household members. It can include not just spouses, but also children, parents, siblings, and roommates.
Household members don’t have to be related by blood to be considered domestic partners. They can also be two people who are unmarried but live together, or who have children together. It also includes foster parents, those related through adoption or marriage, and a ward or guardian.
What Are the Different Types of Domestic Violence in Indiana?
In Indiana, domestic violence can take many different forms. These include physical violence, sexual violence, financial abuse, emotional abuse, and more.
These various types of abuse have different penalties in the state. The aggressor in the situation is often charged with Misdemeanor Domestic Battery or Felony Domestic Battery.
You can get a $5,000 fine or up to one year in jail. Pulling hair, shoving, and angry touching are considered misdemeanor domestic battery actions in Indiana.
Felony domestic battery is a more serious charge, and usually only applies in cases where there has been moderate to serious bodily injury or where the assailant used a deadly weapon. If you are convicted of Level 2 felony domestic battery, you can face up to 30 years in prison.
What Is a Protective Order?
A protective order is a legal order that is issued by the court to protect victims of domestic violence. Protective orders can do several things, such as ordering the aggressor to stay away from the victim or to not contact them in any way. This order can also order the aggressor to give up any firearms that they might have in their possession. Protective orders can also provide for child custody and visitation arrangements.
Violating a Protective Order in Indiana
When someone violates a protective order in Indiana, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Class A is the most serious type of misdemeanor in the state and can result in up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
If the person violates the orders of protection more than once, or if they violate it in a way that puts the victim in danger, they can face a Level 6 felony. This felony is the least serious type of felony in the state but can still result in up to two-and-a-half years in prison.
Legal Firearm Possession
Once someone has committed domestic violence in Indiana, they give up their right to legally possess a firearm. This restriction holds true even if they are only convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.
The assailant can get up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine if they acquire a firearm illegally.
Animals and Domestic Violence
In Indiana, it is now a crime to commit domestic violence against an animal. This law serves to protect victims of domestic violence who might be hesitant to come forward because they don’t want to leave their pets behind. Unfortunately, violent perpetrators have not spared household pets from assault.
Killing an animal to harass, threaten, or terrorize a family member is a Level 6 felony. This felony level means that the aggressor could face up to two-and-a-half years in prison for a conviction.
Such animal violence is more common than most people realize. Studies have shown that more than half of domestic violence victims report that their abuser also harmed or killed their pets.
Process During a Domestic Violence Charge
When someone is involved in domestic abuse in Indiana, the mandatory consequences include:
- Mandatory arrest
- Jail hold (at least eight hours from arrest)
- Bail and pretrial release conditions by judge
- Confiscation of firearms
- Restrictions regarding legal firearm possession
Getting Help in Indiana
If you are a victim of domestic violence in Indiana, several resources can help you. You can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 to speak to someone who can help you find resources in your area.
You can also visit the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence website to find a list of local organizations that can help. These organizations can provide emergency shelter, counseling, and other support.
If you are in immediate danger, you can call 911 to get help from the police. The police are the first step in removing the abuser from the home and can help you get to a safe place.
A domestic violence defense attorney can also help you understand your legal rights and options. If you are considering filing for a protective order or pressing charges, an attorney can help you navigate the process. The experienced lawyers at Trapp Law, LLC know about domestic violence laws in the state.
Get To Know Indiana’s Domestic Violence Laws
In conclusion, Indiana has several laws to protect victims of domestic violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence, look into the many resources to help you. You can call the police, a local domestic violence organization, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help. An attorney with knowledge of domestic violence cases, such as the team at Trapp Law, can also help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us in Indianapolis, IN today.