Steven Knecht Obtains Another Not Guilty Verdict
Steven Knecht successfully obtained a not guilty verdict in a jury trial of a felony battery case last week by presenting the parental discipline defense (also referred to as the “spare the rod, spoil the child” defense and the corporal punishment defense).
There are actions which are not considered crimes, if you have legal authority to do them. A person may not be convicted for engaging in conduct that would otherwise be a crime, if he has legal authority to do so.
Under Indiana law, a parent is authorized to use reasonable physical force as they believe necessary for the proper control, training, or education of their children. In determining whether the force of the act in question was reasonable, the following factors must be considered:
- Whether the actor is a parent, or guardian;
- The age, sex, and physical and mental condition of the child;
- The nature of his offense and apparent motive;
- The influence of his example upon other children of the same family or group;
- Whether the force is reasonably necessary and appropriate to compel obedience to a proper command;
- Whether it is disproportionate to the offense, unnecessarily degrading, or likely to cause serious or permanent harm;
The State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt, either:
- The force the parent used was unreasonable, or
- The parent’s belief that such force was necessary to control his child and prevent misconduct was unreasonable.
If the State fails to prove either, the defendant must be found not guilty.
With over 30 years of trial experience, Steven Knecht is familiar with the possible defenses to battery and other criminal charges. If you find yourself having been arrested, you should immediately hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer that you can trust such as Steven Knecht to help you fight the State because you have a lot at stake on the outcome.