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Indiana Domestic Violence Laws

By James Emerson on May 16, 2017

Domestic violence is difficult because it can be tough to tell who is telling the truth, who was the aggressor, and the parties readiness to help the State prove their case. These difficulties make domestic violence cases among the most likely to go to trial. Furthermore, there are many cases of false reporting by an alleged victim to manipulate the system in an attempt to hurt the alleged perpetrator.

Indianapolis Domestic Abuse Attorneys 317-969-8000

DOMESTIC BATTERY: (effective until 7-1-2014)

Under Indiana Code, IC 35-42-2-1.3, a person commits:

  1. A Class-A Misdemeanor: when they knowingly or intentionally touch an individual, in a rude, insolent or angry manner resulting in bodily injury, who:
    1. Is or was a spouse of that person;
    2. Is or was living as if a spouse of that person
      1. A court shall consider the following things when determining if someone is “living as if a spouse” with another person:
        1. The length of the relationship;
        2. How often they have contact with one another;
        3. The financial interdependence of the two parties;
        4. If they raise children together;
        5. If they engage “in tasks directed toward maintaining a common household”; and
    3. Any other factor the court finds relevant
    4. Has a child in common with that person
  1. A Class-D Felony:
    1. If they have a prior unrelated conviction of domestic battery; or
    2. The alleged offense was committed in the “physical presence” of a minor child less than sixteen (16) years old, and that person knew the minor was present and might be able to hear or see the offense occurring.


Domestic abuse does not specifically mention battery however, under Indiana Code, IC 35-42-2-1(a)(2)(M), a person commits:

  1. A Class-D Felony:
    1. If they are at least eighteen (18) years of age,
    2. They touch a family or household member,
    3. In a rude, insolent or angry manner resulting in bodily injury, and
    4. The battery took place in the presence of a child less than sixteen (16), who the aggressor knew was present and able to see or hear the event.


It is common for the prosecutor to include additional charges such as:

  •  Intimidation, IC 35-45-2-1: Communicating threats to another person
    • Penalty: Ranges from a Class-A Misdemeanor to a Class-C Felony depending on the facts
  • Harassment, IC 35-45-2-2: Harassing or annoying another for no legitimate purpose
  • Penalty: A Class-B Misdemeanor
    • Penalty:  Ranges from a Class-D Felony to a Class-B Felony depending on the facts
    • Penalty: Ranges from a Class-D Felony to a Class- Felony depending on the facts
    • Penalty:  A Class-D Felony
  • Penalty: Ranges from Class-A Misdemeanor to Class-D Felony, depending on if the person has a prior unrelated conviction for Invasion of Privacy.
  • Confinement, IC 35-42-3-3: Confining someone without their consent by fraud, force or threat
  • Battery with Serious Bodily Injury, IC 35-42-2-1(a)(3-4):
  • Strangulation, IC 35-42-2-9: Applying pressure to the throat or neck of another person and/or obstructing the nose or mouth of another, as to impede normal breathing or blood flow circulation.
  • Invasion of Privacy: IC 35-46-1-15.1: Defying a court’s no contact or protective order.

The penalties for domestic violence are very serious.  If you or a loved one has been accused of domestic violence, give the experienced Domestic Violence Lawyers at Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C. a call today.  We’ll make sure your rights are protected every step of the way. Call us at 317-969-8000 or email us at

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