Laws on Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Indiana
Unlike some states, there is no law that directly pertains to assault with a deadly weapon in Indiana. Instead, there are several criminal offenses that fit a broader definition of this offense, including intimidation, battery, and criminal recklessness. Each of these three offenses contains an element of the conventional definition of assault with a deadly weapon, with “intimidation,” being the most closely associated offense.
Whether you have been charged with an offense involving a deadly weapon or have questions about Indiana criminal law, the defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are available to assist you. Our team is led by two former deputy prosecutors who understand the Indiana criminal justice system inside and out and can provide sound and experienced counsel, no matter the severity of the charges you face. To speak with an Indiana criminal defense attorney today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Offenses Similar to Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Indiana
Assault with a deadly weapon in Indiana is generally considered to be an attempt to or a threat of committing battery with a deadly weapon. In Indiana criminal code, the offense that most closely matches this definition is “intimidation with a deadly weapon.” As defined in Indiana Code 35-45-2-1(b)(2), a person commits the criminal act of intimidation with a deadly weapon, a Level 5 felony, when they draw or use a deadly weapon to 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)
Another offense that is closely related to assault with a deadly weapon in Indiana Code is “battery with a deadly weapon,” a Level 5 felony. Per Indiana Code 35-42-2-1(g), battery with a deadly weapon occurs when someone using a deadly weapon 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.
Beyond intimidation and battery, another offense that is closely related to assault with a deadly weapon is criminal recklessness. Per Indiana Code 35-42-2-2, one commits an act of criminal recklessness when they knowingly or intentionally perform an act that creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person. In general, this offense is considered a Class B misdemeanor in Indiana. However, if someone commits an act of criminal recklessness in Indiana while armed with a deadly weapon, they could be charged with a Level 6 felony. Furthermore, if the act of criminal recklessness involves shooting a firearm into an inhabited dwelling or other building or a place where people are likely to gather, they could be charged with a Level 5 felony.
Collateral Consequences of Being Convicted of Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Indiana
Anyone charged with one of three offenses related to assault with a deadly weapon in Indiana will face serious criminal penalties. Per the Indiana sentencing guidelines, a Level 6 felony can carry a penalty of up to 2.5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000; while a Level 5 felony is punishable by up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Given this, it’s vital that anyone charged with a criminal offense involving a deadly weapon speak with an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney in Indiana. They can help the accused understand the severity of the charges placed against them and help craft a defense strategy to reduce the potential penalties or have the charges dropped altogether.
It’s also important to note that criminal convictions can haunt an offender well after they’ve successfully completed their sentence. In Indiana, anyone with an internet connection can look up a person’s criminal record, including potential employers, landlords, banks, and licensing agencies. This means that past offenders may run into complications when applying for jobs, housing, or much-needed loans. Furthermore, anyone convicted of a felony in Indiana is automatically stripped of several key civil rights, like their ability to vote, serve on a jury, run for public office, or even possess a firearm.
Felony Expungement in Indiana
Thankfully, however, there is the option of felony expungement in Indiana. This process allows past felons to seal their criminal records so that they can only be viewed by limited persons or agencies, in limited circumstances. When past offenders are granted an expungement, they are no longer required to proceed as if they’ve been arrested or convicted, and can truthfully answer, “no,” when asked if they’ve ever been convicted of a felony offense. In addition, those who have their felony record expunged may also be able to restore their gun rights in Indiana.
Those convicted of a Level 6 felony in Indiana are eligible for expungement once eight or more years have passed since their conviction and have paid all fines, fees, court costs, and restitution orders. However, during that time, the petitioner cannot have incurred any new criminal convictions or have any criminal charges currently pending against them.
Anyone charged with a Level 5 felony offense related to assault with a deadly weapon in Indiana must meet a slightly higher standard with additional conditions. In addition, the decision to grant or deny an expungement request for a Level 5 felony offense is completely up to the court, and if granted, those records will not be sealed. Instead, they’ll be marked “expunged.” To qualify for a Level 5 felony expungement, eight years must have passed since the person’s conviction OR three or more years have passed since they completed their sentence, which is later. The person must also be eight years free from convictions prior to requesting expungement. Finally, they may not have any current pending criminal charges, have completed payment of all fines, fees, court costs, and restitution orders, and paid for their expungement filing fee.
The Indiana expungement law has been a godsend for many past offenders and has allowed countless Hoosiers to move forward and begin a new chapter in their life. Given this, it’s highly recommended that anyone who has successfully served a sentence for a felony conviction speak with an Indiana expungement attorney. The process of petitioning for expungement in Indiana is rather complex, so working alongside a skilled and experienced attorney can be incredibly beneficial, especially when it comes to meeting the strict deadlines and requirements set forth in Indiana expungement law.
If you find yourself searching for “lawyers near me that do expungement,” look no further than the Indianapolis law office of Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Although we’re based in central Indiana, we have attorneys that do expungements all over the state. Our team is vastly experienced and can assist you in confirming your expungement eligibility, gathering case records and court documents, researching your criminal history, and preparing your petition. We also are prepared to represent you in court, and if successful, distribute notice of your expungement to all relevant state agencies.
Questions about Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Indiana?
Whether you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney in Indiana, a skilled felony expungement lawyer, or simply have questions about charges related to assault with a deadly weapon in Indiana, the criminal defense team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP is available to speak with you. Our Indiana defense attorneys understand the local courts in Indianapolis, as well as those across the state. They have deep experience in negotiation, as well as in the courtroom. Plus, as former deputy prosecutors, they have unique insight into how the prosecution will approach the case and what sorts of strategies they may use in court.
If you want an attorney who is invested in the work of securing the best possible outcome in the case against you—whether that is dismissal, reduction of charges, or a not-guilty verdict—give Keffer Hirschauer LLP a call today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our team stands ready to provide you with the high-quality, dedicated defense you need to minimize your potential penalties and protect both your rights and your future.