What Is Third-Degree Battery?

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According to Womenslaw.org, third-degree battery occurs when a person causes intentional physical injury to a family or household member, causes physical injuries through recklessness or neglect, possibly by using a lethal weapon, or purposefully causes mental impairment or physical injury through administering drugs or other such substance without the consent of the household or family member. Battery is defined as the intentional striking or injuring of a victim, causing the other person harm without the consent.

Third-degree battery, along with second-degree battery, is considered a less serious misdemeanor than first-degree battery. It is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment up to one year. If a person harms and injures a pregnant woman, he can be charged with Class D felony, punishable by six years in a county jail. The same sentence is true for a defendant who has been previously convicted with aggravated assault within the last five years.

A person who claims to be a victim of domestic battery may file a petition to the court for a protective order. If a case is filed and the court finds that domestic violence indeed occurred, the victim can be protected by issuing a restraining order to the abuser, preventing the abuser from harming, injuring or harassing the victim in any way. The abuser may also be ordered out of the house and provide financial support to the spouse and minor children.