Experienced Fort Wayne Attorney Defends Allegations of Domestic Violence
Aggressive advocate works to protect your freedom and your reputation
Indiana law takes allegations of domestic violence very seriously. If someone accuses you of stalking, making threats, or committing battery, you could face jail time or the prospect of living with a restraining order. Even if you are not convicted of a crime, the damage to your reputation and livelihood can still be severe. It’s important to seek skilled legal counsel. At The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey, you’ll get an experienced attorney who is focused on protecting your rights.
What constitutes domestic violence under Indiana law?
Indiana law does not enumerate a long list of domestic violence crimes. When appropriate, authorities charge domestic battery or apply other charges for violent crimes to domestic situations. Such charges include:
- Domestic battery — This Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. If a child under the age of 16 is present, or if the accused has a prior domestic battery conviction, the offense is a Class D felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A convicted batterer may be required to complete an intervention program.
- Intimidation — Communicating a threat is a Class A misdemeanor but the charge becomes a Level 6 felony if the threat is to commit a forcible felony. Sentences run from six months in jail to 2.5 years in prison with fines up to $10,000. If a deadly weapon is involved, the offense is a Level 5 felony, which calls for one to six years’ imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Harassment — Leaving an obscene message is a Class B misdemeanor, with potential sentences running from 0 to 180 days in jail with a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Criminal trespass — A person who knowingly and intentionally enters a premises without permission or refuses to leave after permission has been withdrawn commits a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
- Sexual assault — A person who knowingly and intentionally forces another to engage in sexual intercourse by force or threat of force commits rape, which is a Level 3 felony, punishable by three to 16 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. If committed with a deadly weapon, the offense is a Level 1 felony, punishable by 20 to 40 years’ imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000.
These are serious charges that demand a highly professional criminal defense lawyer, who can challenge the prosecution’s claims and introduce questions involving consent and intent.
Defense from domestic violence protective orders in Indiana
According to the Indiana Code § 31-9-2-42, “domestic or family violence” occurs when a member of a household or family:
- Causes physical harm or attempts or threatens to cause physical harm to a family or household member
- Places a family or household member in fear of physical harm
- Makes a family or household member engage in sexual activity by force, the threat of force, or duress
- Abuses or kills an animal, without justification, for the purpose of threatening, intimidating, coercing, harassing, or terrorizing a family member
A victim can file a petition for an order of protection. An adult may file on behalf of a child victim. The law allows a court to rule on the order ex parte — hearing from only one side. But if the court issues a temporary order, there must be another hearing within 30 days to give the defendant a chance to testify. After that hearing, the court may issue a permanent order, which can last as long as two years.
If you have had an order of protection issued against you, you may be forced to:
- Stay away from the victim and/or their children
- Vacate the home
- Pay temporary child support
- Surrender firearms
Violations of an order of protection can be charged as felonies. For example, stalking while subject to an order of protection is a Class C felony, calling for eight years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If there are mitigating circumstances, a Class D felony may be charged, carrying a maximum sentence of three years with a $10,000 fine.
Having a restraining order issued against you comes with serious consequences. Don’t surrender your freedom or risk loss of reputation without a fight. Attorney Ryan Lackey stands ready to defend your rights.
Contact a determined Indiana criminal defense lawyer for domestic violence charges
If you have been arrested for domestic violence or have had a temporary restraining order issued against you, The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey stands ready to help. For a free consultation and cost-effective representation from an experienced Fort Wayne attorney, please contact the firm online or call us at 260-222-7364.