Under Indiana Code section 35-42-2-1.3(b)(2), a person who knowingly or intentionally touches his current or former spouse (or baby momma, or similarly related person) in a rude, insolent or angry manner resulting in bodily injury, and does so in the physical presence of a child less than 16 years old, commits a Class D felony Domestic Battery.
On the other hand, under Indiana Code section 35-42-2-1(a)(2)(M), a person 18 or older who knowingly or intentionally touches his current or former spouse (or other family or household member) in a rude, insolent or angry manner resulting in bodily injury, and does so in the physical presence of a child less than 16 years old, also commits a Class D felony Battery. But it’s not a Domestic Battery.
Believe it or not, there’s a big difference. If you are charged with and plead to the latter plain vanilla Class D felony Battery, the plea agreement can provide, as it can for most Class D felonies, that the felony will be converted to a misdemeanor after satisfactory completion of probation. If you are charged with and plead to the former extra-special Class D felony Domestic Battery, it can’t. The legislature at the behest of the Victimocracy has carved out an exception for Domestic Battery convictions, right alongside Child Porn convictions. You’ll be a felon for the rest of your life.
Keep in mind that “bodily injury” is defined in the Indiana statutes to mean “any impairment of physical condition, including physical pain.” A relatively minor fight could trigger a felony charge. And as Mark Bennett observed:
[M]any if not most domestic violence calls result from couples whose ordinary communications are passionate, rough, and even violent pushing each other’s buttons until one goes just a little bit farther than either planned, and the cops get called. Not that there’s any shortage of unprovoked meanness in the world, but most family violence prosecutions are simply escalated domestic disputes, resulting from general human goofiness.
. . .
Reasonable people can differ on the merits of the majority of family violence assault cases. Sometimes the complainant wants to retract the accusation not because she’s a battered woman but because she was in the wrong in the first place. Every alleged assailant is not a ticking time bomb.
The loophole obscurely hidden in section 35-42-2-1(a)(2)(M) is a righteous one. A decent prosecutor who’s got the goods on the defendant in a felony domestic battery case should be open to using it. You don’t help the victim of a domestic battery or her family by saddling her husband and his employment prospects with a felony conviction for the rest of his life, assuming she’s decided not to leave his sorry ass. You certainly don’t help her or her family resolve the evident strains in their relationships by forcing her to testify at trial, under the pains and penalties of perjury, against her husband. But, just maybe, you do help the situation by throwing some cold water on it, by giving the defendant a chance to get his act together and get some counseling before you have him branded as a felon for the rest of his life.