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Parents, Be Aware: Your Child Can Be Arrested for Fighting with a Sibling

A recent headline from WFYI-Indianapolis caught the attention of parents across Indiana: ‘Indiana will stop locking up kids under 12. Is that still too young?’

Many parents could not even fathom their child being arrested, but it is possible. Even circumstances such as a physical altercation between siblings could become a law enforcement matter if events break the wrong way. 

Being a Sibling Does Not Protect a Child from the Law

We documented the story of a 12-year-old Indiana girl accused of torturing and attacking a peer in two separate instances. That girl was charged with aggravated battery and intimidation, adult-level offenses that show how serious a physical interaction between children can become in the eyes of the law.

The fact that one minor is a sibling does not provide any legal protections to the other sibling who is committing an act that, technically, is criminal. Context is obviously important in every case, but actions that could prompt charges against a minor include:

  • Punching
  • Cutting
  • Burning
  • Striking
  • Any other action that causes bodily harm


We hope that law enforcement officers and prosecutors will use good judgment, understanding that kids will be kids and that serious errors in judgment do not always warrant prosecution. However, overzealous prosecution of minors is a legitimate concern.

Every Parent Should Protect Their Child from Entering the Indiana Juvenile Justice System Houses 

If a minor is charged with assault or any other offense, they often face the Indiana Juvenile Justice System. While this is preferable to a child facing charges as an adult, interactions with the Juvenile Justice System (especially after a conviction) may:

  • Cause the child substantial trauma
  • Stigmatize the child in various aspects of their life
  • Increase the likelihood of future incarceration


Minors charged with a criminal offense in Indiana have a right to a capable legal defense, just as adults do. It is easy to argue that the stakes of criminal proceedings involving a minor are highest, as the consequences of a conviction can be truly life-altering.

Hire an Attorney as Soon as Possible for a Family-Related Legal Matter

If your child is facing criminal charges due to a sibling dispute or another circumstance, we want to help. Call Razumich & Associates today at 317-449-8661 or contact us online to discuss how we’ll fight for your child.

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