Saint John, IN asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Indiana

Q: I acted in self defense, and I had gotten charged for domestic battery as a minor. Is there any way to reduce the charge

I hid something of my sisters so she’d pay me back money that she owed me for breaking my things.(items I took never left the room.) She attacked me and broke through my door as I was closing it to get away from her. She charged me, and I hit her in the face to get away, because she wouldn’t let me go. After I was able to get free she charged me and got into my face again, I didn’t act in violence further. there is only witnesses for the second time she came at me. Cops didn’t believe me, and charged me with domestic battery as a minor, while she’s 21. All I tried to do was to get away from her attacking me. I hit her once, and ran away immediately after she let me go.

2 Lawyer Answers
Joel D. Hand
Joel D. Hand
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: First, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help defend you against this criminal case. Second, any good criminal defense attorney will tell you that you should only be discussing the facts of your case with your attorney. You should not talk with your friends, your sister, law enforcement or anyone else about what happened - only with your attorney. With that said, if you are a minor (under the age of 18), your case will likely be in juvenile court as a juvenile delinquency case. If you and/or your parents are not able to afford to hire an attorney, the judge may appoint an attorney to you. Just because your sister is an adult and you are a minor does not mean that you cannot be charged with an offense. However, you do still have rights and a criminal defense attorney will best be able to ensure that your rights are protected. You will want to ask your attorney about the possibility of raising a self-defense argument.

Andrew L. Bennett agrees with this answer

Andrew L. Bennett
Andrew L. Bennett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Valparaiso, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: Mr. Hand is correct. Also be aware, if your case is in Juvenile Court you are entitled to a PD regardless of your income or assets. If its in adult court the Judge will make a determination if you qualify for a public defender. Either way if you request a PD or hire your own attorney, only discuss the case with your attorney and be careful about what you post online, even on sites like Justia.

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