In 2014, Indiana revamped its criminal code. This overhaul of penalties and sentencing brought about harsher penalties for drug crimes and habitual criminals, according the Indianapolis Star. Misdemeanors and their respective sentences include:
- Class C misdemeanor. This is the lightest of Indiana’s misdemeanor charges, but you could still face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted of a Class C crime.
- Class B misdemeanor. With fines of $1,000, you could face as many as 180 days in an Indiana jail if found guilty.
- Class A misdemeanor. This is the most severe classification of a misdemeanor crime. It includes a fine of as much as $5,000 and up to a year in jail.
Felonies crimes carry steeper penalties for Hoosiers found guilty of these crimes. They bear greater potential for prolonged sentences in prison. Indiana felonies and sentences are:
- Level 6 felony. Under Indiana law, these criminal charges could be reduced to Class A misdemeanors. Level 6 felonies eligible for reduced classification include theft, drunk or intoxicated driving, drug possession, and maintaining a common nuisance. If convicted of a Level 6 felony, you could end up with a sentence of six months to 2 ½ years in prison.
- Level 5 felony. At this level, you are subject to a sentence of one to six years, with the possibility of serving just three years for good behavior if you were given the maximum sentence.
- Level 4 felony. If convicted of this crime, you could end up in prison for two to 12 years, with a minimum sentence of six years with a 12-year sentence.
- Level 3 felony. Criminal convictions at Level 3 could leave you in a Indiana state prison for three to 16 years, and the state would consider early release of a maximum sentence after nine years.
- Level 2 felony. You face a minimum of 10 years if convicted. The maximum sentence at Level 2 is 30 years, with an advisory sentence of 17 ½ years.
- Level 1 felony. This could eat up nearly half a lifetime, with a minimum of 20 years and maximum of 40. You would be required to serve at least 75 percent of the sentence before release for good behavior, meaning your earliest release would be 30 years.
What to do if you’ve been charged with a crime
If you’ve been charged with a crime, there is much you can do to improve your chances of a successful defense and to gain favor with a judge. The first and most important thing you can do is show up if you know you’ve been charged with a crime. If a judge orders that you must appear in court, do not skip out on your court appearance. This can only exacerbate circumstances for you. You will find yourself, if incarcerated, with a higher bail and more restrictions after you have posted bail. There’s no sense in tempting an Indiana court’s wrath by avoiding it.
Just as important as adhering to the wishes of the court is the need to have an attorney.
No matter the kind of criminal case you have against you, it is important that you know your rights and have an attorney who will serve your need. Since each case is unique, you need to be prepared from the beginning and well-informed throughout the entirety of your case. Whether your case is tried to a judge or jury or whether it is negotiated to a resolution, you want to do what is best to protect your future and freedom. Make sure that you have a person you can trust when you're facing this difficult situation.
Attorney Allen Lidy has more than a decade of experience helping Hoosiers defend their freedom and rights in the face of criminal charges. He has assisted clients from the tip of Lake Michigan to the banks of the Ohio River, standing up for those whose lives have been turned upside down because of allegations. Even if you’re found guilty, an attorney like Allen Lidy seeks what is best for his clients under the circumstances, fully presenting your circumstances and needs.
How you are perceived is one of the greatest factors in determining the direction of your life inside the walls of an Indiana courtroom. Your best interests are always the top priority for Allen and his office.