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Indiana Domestic Violence Laws

Indiana laws - like laws in other states - seek to protect spouses, cohabitating partners, and children from domestic violence. In Indiana, beating or abusing a family or household member is called domestic battery. If domestic battery doesn't apply due to the relationship of the individuals (for example, teens in a dating relationship), regular battery may apply.

Crimes Related to Domestic Violence

There are crimes that may also relate to domestic battery. For example, sometimes abusers will stalk their former romantic partners, which, needless to say, is illegal. Indiana's criminal stalking statute outlaws repeated harassment of another that would cause a reasonable person to feel intimidated or threatened and causes the victim to feel threatened or terrorized. Abusers can also be charged with a myriad of other crimes for conduct meant to terrorize their victims, including:

  • Criminal confinement - intentionally confining a person without their consent.
  • Kidnapping - removing a person to another place through the use of fraud, force, or threat.
  • Rape - having oral, anal, or vaginal sex by force, threat, or while the victim is incapacitated.

Indiana Domestic Violence Laws: The Basics

When you have a legal question, it's important to read the actual law. Unfortunately, this isn't always an easy task since most laws are written in "legalese," which can take time to interpret and understand. For this reason, it can also be beneficial to read a summary of the law that gets to the point. In the following chart you can find a brief overview of Indiana domestic violence laws and links to relevant statutes.


Indiana Code, Title 35, Article 42, Chapter 2, Section 35-42-2-1.3 (Domestic Battery)

What Constitutes Domestic Battery?

Domestic battery occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally:

  • Touches a family or household member in a rude or angry way; or
  • In a rude or angry way places bodily fluid or waste on a family or household member.

The charges for domestic battery can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Level 2 felony, depending on the circumstances.


A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.

A Level 6 felony is punishable by six months to three years of imprisonment.

A Level 5 felony is punishable by one to six years of imprisonment.

A Level 4 felony is punishable by two to 12 years of imprisonment.

A Level 3 felony is punishable by three to 16 years of imprisonment.

A Level 2 felony is punishable by 10 to 30 years of imprisonment.

Note: A felony conviction can also result in a fine of up to $10,000.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Indiana Domestic Violence Laws: Related Resources

If you'd like more information related to this topic, you can visit the links below.

Learn More About Indiana Domestic Violence Laws from an Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic battery in Indiana, you'll want to know your rights and the possible penalties you may be facing. Your first step towards educating yourself is finding a criminal defense attorney in your area. Start now by contacting a criminal defense attorney near you who can explain how Indiana domestic violence laws apply to the facts of your case.

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