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battery, self-defense

Battery and Self-Defense: When the Use of Force is Necessary

In Indiana, you have the right to use reasonable force to defend yourself or a friend from being attacked or assaulted. You can also use force, including deadly force, to protect your home from unlawful entry. Unfortunately, you may be at risk of being unlawfully arrested for battery or assault, even when you acted to lawfully defend yourself. If unreliable witnesses report the battery, or the person who attacked you goes to the police first, you could be viewed as the perpetrator instead of the victim or a person merely defending yourself from a battery.

Under Indiana law, battery is defined as touching someone in a rude, insolent, or angry manner. If the person suffers some injury, no matter how minor, battery is a Class A misdemeanor. Battery is a Class C Felony if it results in serious bodily injury or by means of a deadly weapon. Aggravated battery is a Class B Felony. A charge of aggravated battery requires that the alleged victim suffered a substantial risk of death or serious permanent disfigurement or a protracted loss or impairment of their body. A Class C Felony carries a penalty of two to eight years in prison. A Class B Felony carries a penalty of six to twenty years in prison.

If you have been in a physical confrontation, you should contact a criminal attorney immediately. If the police initiate a battery investigation, you should never give a statement without your lawyer present. Under the heat of the confrontation, you will not be clear-minded to accurately explain what happened. And, the person who attacked you may have given a grossly false report to the police, which could lead to an aggressive interrogation. Many battery offenses are alcohol related. You should never give a statement to police when you have been drinking or using illegal drugs.

If you have been arrested or accused of battery, you should immediately make a list of witnesses in your favor and provide that to your attorney. An experienced criminal attorney can develop a stronger defense by taking statements of favorable witnesses while the events are fresh in their minds. And, an experienced criminal attorney can determine if it is necessary to hire an investigator to locate additional witnesses.

It is a defense to a charge of battery if you were acting to protect yourself or a friend from an attack. Your use of force must be reasonable. If you are being investigated for a criminal charge of battery, or are under suspicion of committing a battery, you should contact an experienced criminal attorney. Immediate action can help identify corroborating evidence that you acted in self-defense and prevent you from wrongful suspicion of having committed the battery.

I am a criminal lawyer in Lafayette, Indiana and have handled battery cases and other serious criminal cases throughout Indiana. I have won acquittal in battery trials multiple times by presenting credible evidence of self-defense. I have also negotiated the dismissal of charges of battery and aggravated battery by presenting credible and compelling evidence of self-defense. If you used force to defend yourself or a friend, you may also need to aggressively defend yourself in court.