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Prosecutors Can Use a Prior Battery Conviction Against You in a Current Case, But Only Under Certain Circumstances

In many cases, prosecutors cannot use a prior conviction to imply that a defendant tends to commit certain crimes. Each case must stand on its own merits, and prior conviction may prejudice a jury and increase the likelihood of a conviction.

However, Indiana’s laws are dynamic, and statutes specifically address battery cases.

Indiana Law Allows Prosecutors to Use a Prior Battery Conviction Under Specific Circumstances

IN Code § 35-37-4-14 explains that the prosecutor may admit evidence of a prior, unrelated battery or attempted battery conviction (or, in some cases, a charge) if the evidence speaks to:

  • The defendant’s motive in committing the crime they’re accused of
  • The defendant’s intent to commit a crime
  • The defendant’s identity
  • The defendant’s “common scheme or design”

A prior battery charge or conviction could be admissible in battery, domestic battery, aggravated battery, murder, or voluntary manslaughter cases.

The Prosecutor Must Prove the Admissibility of the Prior Conviction

A prosecutor can only admit a prior conviction if that conviction came within five years of the current offense for which the prosecutor is seeking a conviction. Even then, the prosecutor can only use the prior conviction as evidence once:

  • They file a written motion ten days or more before a trial begins
  • The court approves the offer of proof and orders a hearing
  • The prosecutor convinces the court during a jury hearing that evidence of a prior conviction should be permissible

A capable criminal defense lawyer will fight the admission of a prior battery conviction at every step. We may file counter-motions, wage oral arguments, and take other steps to fight the prejudicial entry of a previous conviction into your case.

Call Razumich & Associates Today for Lawyers Ready to Fight for You

The effects of a criminal conviction span well beyond confinement or fines. Your reputation, family life, and employability are at stake. You deserve a law firm that fights as if their own family member was facing a battery conviction—that’s Razumich & Associates.

Call Razumich & Associates today at 317-449-8661 or contact us online.

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