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Where is the Definition of Assault in Indiana Code?

Although the majority of states have a criminal offense called, “assault,” the state of Indiana does not. There are, however, several offenses that do fit the broader definition of assault in Indiana Code, such as intimidation, battery, disorderly conduct, or criminal recklessness. Each of these offenses contains some element of the conventional definition of assault, with “intimidation,” being the most closely associated offense.  

If you have questions about assault in Indiana, or have been charged with a related crime, it would be best to consult with an experienced attorney. The Indiana criminal defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are driven litigators who understand Indiana criminal code inside and out. Furthermore, many of our attorneys are former deputy prosecutors who have actually prosecuted these kinds of cases in the past. This means they have a detailed understanding of how the State will attempt to prosecute these types of offenses and what strategies are best for securing the optimal result in the case against you. To speak with one of our Indianapolis attorneys today, call 317-857-0160 or schedule a free consultation using this online contact form.  

Generally, assault is considered to be an attempt to or a threat of committing battery. However, this kind of criminal act is not called assault in Indiana Code. Instead, this would best fit the definition of an offense called “intimidation.” As defined in Indiana Code 35-45-2-1, a person commits the criminal act of intimidation, a Class A Misdemeanor, when they communicate a threat with the intent that:  

  • Another person engages in conduct against their will; 
  • Another person be placed in fear of retaliation for a prior lawful act; or 
  • Another person be placed in fear that the threat will be carried out, if the threat is described in subsection Indiana Code 35-45-2-1(c)(1) through Indiana Code 35-45-2-1(c)(5); or subsection Indiana Code 35-45-2-1(c)(7) through Indiana Code 35-45-2-1(c)(8) (see below)  
Definition of "Threat" as it relates to Assault in Indiana

It should be noted, however, that under some circumstances, the act of intimidation can be elevated to both a Level 6 and Level 5 felony. One example of this is when there is a threat to commit a forcible felony, or the subject of the threat is a witness (or the spouse or child of a witness) in any pending criminal proceeding against the person making the threat. In situations like these, the offender can be charged with a Level 6 felony. In addition, if the offender, while committing an act of intimidation, drew a gun or used a deadly weapon, they can be charged with a Level 5 felony. Additional enhancing circumstances include: 

  • Having a prior unrelated conviction for an offense under this section concerning the same victim – Level 6 Felony 
  • The threat is communicated using property, including electronic equipment or systems, of a school corporation or other governmental entity – Level 6 Felony 
  • The subject of the threat or the person to whom the threat is communicated is a judicial officer or bailiff of any court; or a prosecuting attorney or a deputy prosecuting attorney; and the threat relates to that status or is made in connection with the official duties of the judicial officer, bailiff, prosecuting attorney, or deputy prosecuting attorney – Level 5 Felony 
  • The threat is to commit terrorism or is made in furtherance of an act of terrorism – Level 5 Felony 

The Definition of Battery

Another offense that is similar to assault in Indiana Code is “battery.” Per Indiana Code 35-42-2, battery, in its most basic form, is when someone knowingly or intentionally touches another person in a rude, insolent, or angry manner; or in a rude, insolent or angry manner places any bodily fluid or waste on another person. In Indiana, this level of battery is considered to be a Class B misdemeanor. Similar to intimidation, however, this offense can be elevated to a higher charge under a variety of circumstances. 

In Indiana, one can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor for the offense of battery if the offense results in bodily injury to any other person; or is committed against a member of a foster family home by a person who is not a resident of the foster family home if the person who committed the offense is a relative of a person who lived in the foster family home at the time of the offense. Furthermore, one can be charged with Level 6 felony battery if the person knew or recklessly failed to know that the bodily fluid or waste placed on another person was infected with hepatitis, tuberculosis, or human immunodeficiency virus. It’s also considered to be a Level 6 felony if the offense results in moderate bodily injury to any other person; or the offense is committed against:  

  • a public safety official while they’re engaged in official duties 
  • a person under the age of 14 by a person older than the age of 18 
  • a person of any age who has a mental or physical disability and is committed by a person having the care of the person with the mental or physical disability, whether the care is assumed voluntarily or because of a legal obligation 
  • an endangered adult 

In some cases, a person can even be charged with a Level 5, 4, 3 or 2 felonies for battery in Indiana. For example, if the offense results in bodily injury to a pregnant woman, and the offender knew of the pregnancy, they can be charged with a Level 5 felony; or if the offense, committed by someone over the age of 18, results in serious bodily injury to a person under the age of 14, they can be charged with a Level 3 felony. In cases of battery, committed by an adult, that result in the death of a person under the age of 14 or an endangered adult, the offender can be charged with a Level 2 felony. 

If you’ve been charged with battery, or any other offense similar to assault in Indiana Code, the Indiana battery defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are available to speak with you. We can help you understand the severity of the case against you, and if retained, build you a sound defense aimed at reducing or minimizing your potential penalties. To speak with one of our Indiana battery defense lawyers today, call 317-857-0160 or schedule a free consultation using our online contact form.  

The Definition of Disorderly Conduct

Indiana Code 35-45-1-3 defines disorderly conduct in Indiana as recklessly, knowingly or intentionally engaging in fighting or tumultuous conduct; making unreasonable noise and continuing to do so after being asked to stop; or disrupting a lawful assembly of persons. If found guilty of this offense, a person can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor in Indiana. However, if this offense adversely affects airport security and is committed in an airport, a person can be charged with a Level 6 felony. In addition, they can be charged with a Level 6 felony if the offense is committed within 500 feet of the location where a burial is being performed; a funeral procession (if the person knows it’s taking place); or a building in which a funeral or memorial service or viewing is being conducted and it adversely affects the occasion.  

The Definition of Criminal Recklessness

Another offense similar to assault in Indiana code, is called “criminal recklessness.” This offense, as defined in Indiana Code 35-42-2-2, pertains to someone recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally performing an act that creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person. Under most circumstances, someone who commits this act would be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. However, criminal recklessness in Indiana can be a Level 6 felony if the offense was committed while armed with a deadly weapon or the person committed aggressive driving that resulted in the serious bodily injury of another person. Furthermore, one can be charged with Level 5 criminal recklessness if they committed the offense by shooting a firearm into an inhabited dwelling or other building/place where people are likely to gather; or if they committed aggressive driving that resulted in the death or catastrophic injury of another person.  

Charged with a Crime Similar to Assault in Indiana?  

If you’ve been charged with intimidation, battery, criminal recklessness, or any other offense similar to assault in Indiana Code, contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP today. We employ some of the most experienced battery defense attorneys in Indiana, and stand ready to begin building your defense. As former deputy prosecutors, our defense attorneys understand how the State will build their case against you and can anticipate the strategies they may use in court. Who better to represent you than someone who has prosecuted these same types of cases in the past? To speak with one of our Indiana criminal defense attorneys today, call 317-857-0160 or schedule a free consultation using our online contact form.  

Summary
Where is the Definition of Assault in Indiana Code?
Article Name
Where is the Definition of Assault in Indiana Code?
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There is no definition of assault in Indiana Code. However, similar offenses, such as intimidation, battery, and recklessness, may be considered assault.
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Keffer Hirschauer LLP

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