Ask a Cop: What sentence do you get for hitting a woman?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: Let's just say for instance if a man hits a woman what would be the minimum and maximum sentence he could get?

A: If we are talking Indiana, it is based on the severity of the injuries, what (if any) special circumstances are in play, and finally the defendant's criminal history. For example, if a man slaps a woman and there are no injuries, prior conviction or special circumstances, it would likely be a misdemeanor where a sentence could be up to one year in jail. On the other hand, if the woman is pregnant, elderly, or significantly injured, then the charge may be elevated to an aggravated circumstance and be classified as a felony. Likewise, someone with a prior conviction of battery may elevate the charge to a felony. Depending on the circumstances and degree of injury, someone could face up to 16 years in prison. So, if you are thinking of hitting a woman, come see me first and I will let you hit me, and we will see how that goes!

Q: My boyfriend got arrested for speeding 45 mph in a 40 zone, and then the same day got in trouble just for smoking a joint at Washington Park! Point being, when you witness a simple infraction, and no one is in real danger, wouldn't your time be better spent addressing more serious crimes in the city?

A: Speeding is not an arrestable offense. Officers are sworn to uphold the law and it is not our job function to make value judgements on what is and is not a crime. Society does this through elected officials. If you think the speed limit should be faster or marijuana should be decriminalized, then I would encourage you to contact your elected officials and like-minded citizens to work to change the laws.

Q: My husband has used cocaine in the past and I have a sinking suspicion he is using it again. Call me paranoid, but I have noticed signs in the bathroom garbage, and what appears to be little plastic baggies and tin foil in his truck.

A: Trust your gut. Drug habits are tough. Unfortunately, we are on the prosecution side of drug use and enforcement. I would recommend reaching out to a professional for advice and guidance. In LaPorte County "Passages" at the Swanson Center is a comprehensive substance abuse program that offers therapeutic substance abuse services including individual, group, intensive outpatient services, aftercare groups, case consultation and referrals. You may contact them at 219-879-4621. Best wishes.

Q: Love your column! I was wondering do you ever receive annoying questions?

A: Thank you very much! I normally do not mind any questions, and sometimes it's tough to get out of the grocery store! But the most annoying thing people do is loudly announce, "I didn't do it!" when you walk into a store or business in uniform. Second, is when parents tell their children you better eat or behave or that policeman is going to take you to jail. (Please stop as this scares children and makes them afraid of the police.)

The winner of the $30 gas card sponsored by Dr. Lisa Leniski and staff was Jasmin Honaker of La Porte. The answer to last column's riddle of what was the number of inches, plums, days and the President's address? It was 1677 (36 inches, 1- plum, 40 days, and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.)

The sponsor for this week's riddle is our friends at Rittenhouse Assisted Living here in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30 gas card.

This will be fun! If Boston is east of New York, cross out all the A's. If not, cross out the R's. If Paris is south of New York, cross out all the O's. If not, cross out the I's. If Sri Lanka is in Asia, cross out the B's and U's. If not, cross out the C's. The remaining letters will tell you whether you've found the right answer.


The 10th correct answer by phone or email at exactly 1 p.m. today wins!

To answer a question or ask one, contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski at 873-1461, Ext 1020, or email

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