In Indiana, a person commits the crime of felony battery by touching someone in a rude or disrespectful way and inflicting serious injury or using a deadly weapon. Domestic battery is also a felony when the defendant has prior convictions for similar conduct or commits the offense in front of a child.
Batteries that cause injury to certain protected victims may be punished as a felony or a misdemeanor, as explained below. A battery that causes mere bodily injury (not "serious" physical injury), or that causes no injury, is a misdemeanor. For more information on these crimes, see Indiana Battery Laws.
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-1.)
Under Indiana’s laws, the crime of aggravated battery is committed by intentionally inflicting injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious and permanent disfigurement, lasting impairment of any part of the body, or loss of a fetus.
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-1.5.)
The crime of aggravated battery is punished severely because the defendant intentionally inflicts injury. For example, intentionally shooting someone in the face would likely be considered aggravated battery.
In Indiana, the crime of battery causing serious bodily injury is committed by intentionally or knowingly touching another person in a rude, insolent, or angry manner that results in serious bodily injury to the victim. Serious bodily injury creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious and permanent disfigurement, unconsciousness, extreme pain, loss of a fetus, or permanent or lasting impairment of any part of the body. A person engages in conduct “intentionally” if, when he engages in the conduct, it is his conscious objective to do so. A person engages in conduct “knowingly” if, when he engages in the conduct, he is aware of a high probability that he is doing so.
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-31.5-2-292, 35-41-2-2, 35-42-2-1.)
For this type of battery, the defendant does not necessarily intend to inflict serious damage (as with aggravated battery), but rather intentionally engages in conduct that results in serious injury. For example, punching someone so hard that the blow resulted in unconsciousness or extreme pain would likely be considered battery causing serious bodily injury.
Battery committed by means of a deadly weapon is also felony battery. Under Indiana’s laws, a deadly weapon is any:
The law exempts tasers, stun guns, gas, and other devices used by law enforcement officers in the course of the officers’ official duties.
Objects such as knives or attack dogs might be considered deadly weapons if used in such a way that serious injury could result.
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-41-2-86, 35-42-2-1.)
Indiana’s laws also punish more severely any battery that causes bodily injury (any injury, including pain) when the victim is:
Endangered adults are unable to care for themselves or manage their property because of mental illness, intellectual disability, addiction, dementia, or other physical or mental incapacity.
Indiana law also punishes more severely battery causing bodily injury when the defendant has previously been convicted of battery against the same victim.
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 12-10-3-2, 35-31.5-2-128, 35-42-2-1.)
In Indiana, battery by body waste (placing blood, human waste, or another bodily fluid such as semen or saliva) is a felony if the offense is committed:
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-1.)
Under Indiana’s laws, the crime of domestic battery is committed by causing bodily injury against certain relatives or romantic partners, including current and former spouses, people who live together or have lived together as spouses, and people who have children together.
Domestic battery is a felony if the defendant:
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-2-1.3.)
For more information on domestic violence, see Indiana Domestic Violence Laws.
Level 1 Felony. Batteries by an adult (someone 18 years or older) against a person under 14 years old that cause death are punished by 20 to 50 years’ imprisonment and fine of up to $10,000.
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-42-2-1.5, 35-50-2-4.)
Level 3 Felony. The following batteries are punishable by between three and 16 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000:
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-42-2-1.5, 35-50-2-5.)
Level 5 Felony. The following batteries are punishable by one to six years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000:
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-42-2-1, 35-50-2-6.)
Felony battery by bodily waste is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and anywhere from six months in jail to 50 years in prison, depending on the disease, and whether the battery results in transmission of the disease or death.
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-42-2-1, 35-50-2-4, 35-50-2-4.5, 35-50-2-5, 35-50-2-5.5, 35-50-2-6.)
Felony domestic battery is a Level 6 felony, punishable by between six months in jail and 30 months in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-42-2-1.3, 35-50-2-7.)
Battery causing bodily injury to a protected victim is a Level 6 felony, but the judge may reduce the conviction to a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year in a jail and a fine of up to $5,000), so long as the defendant has not had a prior felony conviction reduced in the past three years. The judge must state, on the record, the reason for reducing the felony conviction to a misdemeanor.
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-42-2-1, 35-50-2-7.)
Being charged with a felony battery crime can result in serious consequences, including a prison sentence, a fine, and a criminal record. Or, most likely with the assistance of a criminal defense attorney, you may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed, or obtain a not guilty verdict or a lighter sentence than the maximum allowed by law. An Indiana criminal defense attorney will be able to tell you how your case is likely to fare in court, help you navigate the criminal justice system, and make the strongest arguments on your behalf.