Domestic Violence Lawyers In Lake County, Indiana
Northwest Indiana Domestic Violence Attorneys
Domestic violence is a serious charge that can lead to serious issues for the accused. In Indiana, domestic violence incidents can lead to criminal charges as well as orders of protection being issued against the perpetrator by the court system. Should such an order of protection be violated, further criminal charges could be added. You should know that domestic violence isn’t a small issue that will just go away. Should you be convicted, you could be facing the prospect of paying steep fines as well as serving jail time, depending upon the issue in question. With that said, it is important that you reach out for help if you find yourself accused of domestic violence.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the term used to describe violence that happens in the home, or domicile. When one spouse or partner hurts the other, that is generally considered domestic violence. In Indiana, there are not separate criminal statutes dealing specifically with domestic violence aside from that of domestic battery. That means that things like criminal confinement, criminal trespass, kidnapping, and harassment are looked at on a criminal level and could be pursued as criminal charges as opposed to something that takes place in a family court and might not stay on your record. When it comes to these crimes, in other words, Indiana law does not differentiate between harassing someone you are involved with, in other words, and harassing a stranger or an acquaintance.
What is domestic battery?
If Indiana doesn’t differentiate between domestic violence and criminal charges with the exception of domestic battery, what exactly is domestic battery and how is it conducted? Domestic battery is committed when someone causes injury to a former or current spouse, someone who lived or lives with the batterer as a spouse, or someone with whom the batterer has a child. In all of the above relationships, physical injury dealt to one of the party members is considered domestic battery.
Domestic battery is not a charge to sneeze at. Depending upon the situation, you could spend up to a year in jail by being charged with a Class A misdemeanor. In addition, you might also have to pay a $5,000 fine. Should that battery take place within a child’s physical presence – a child under 16 years of age – then that jail time increases to up to three years and the fine increases to $10,000. Additionally, should you be convicted of domestic battery you might be required to participate in an intervention program in addition to everything else mentioned.
What happens if someone calls the police during a domestic violence incident?
In Indiana, there are various duties that police and other law enforcement officers must carry out when they investigate an allegation of domestic violence. First and foremost, for example, they must do everything reasonably within their power to prevent more violence from occurring. This includes arresting the alleged batterer, helping the victim to gather belongings, and providing them with transportation to a safe location. Police officers might also confiscate ammunition and firearms should they be observed, especially if they believe that those weapons are an imminent threat to the victim.
What is a protective order?
One of the most common things for individuals to face after a domestic violence incident is a protective order. These are often granted to the victims in the incident to help keep them safe from further violence. Depending upon the allegations, a court can issue this order without even notifying the accused or holding a hearing, especially if it seems to be exceedingly clear that the alleged violence did, in fact, occur. Should this be issued, one of the provisions could require the accused to move from the home in question as well as having zero contact with the petitioner.
An order of protection is a serious order, and failure to comply with it will not be taken lightly. You might face criminal charges if you fail to adhere to the guidelines listed within the order, especially if your actions include harassing or further harming the petitioner. Note that sometimes, these orders of protection are granted for things like killing or abusing an animal without provocation or justification, for the purposes of intimidating, terrorizing, coercing, or threatening a family member.
If you are accused of domestic violence, you should reach out to an experienced attorney right away to help you handle these charges. Funk & Wendlinger, LLC, is home to experienced attorneys who are happy to help you with your case. Give us a call today, and let us help.