Felony and Misdemeanors
Northern Indiana’s premier legal defense team
If you have been charged with a crime, or you feel you may be charged, you need a criminal defense attorney on your side. You could be facing prison time or lengthy probation, as well as fines and court fees. A criminal conviction could cost you your job or make your future employability much more difficult.
Generally, offenses can be divided into three categories: Felonies, Misdemeanors and Infractions. As described in greater detail below, the most serious crimes are classified as felonies, with lessor crimes classified as misdemeanors. An infraction is a violation of an ordinance or statute (such as a speeding ticket) that does not subject the person to a criminal conviction or jail time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our responses to some of the frequently asked questions that we receive:
What if I’ve already spoken with the police? Is it too late for you to help me?
If you have not been charged yet, we will contact the investigator or the prosecuting attorney to inform them that you are represented by us. If you have been charged, we will request “discovery” in the case to find out the specifics of the charges and the facts of the case. We will then meet with you to develop a strategy for responding.
How often will you be in touch with me about my case?
In a criminal case, we will contact you anytime there’s a new development that affects you. Likewise, you should feel free to contact us anytime you feel a need to know more about your case, have any questions, or face a new issue related to your case.
What are the levels with felonies?
A felony in Indiana is defined as a crime punishable by more than one year of incarceration in a prison or jail. With felonies, the [Indiana State Legislature] issued advisory guidelines for specific levels (or “level”) of felonies. Each level calls for an advisory sentence that can be added to or subtracted from. It is worth noting that all or a portion of these sentences may be served in community corrections (home detention or work release) or be suspended to probation.
- Level 6 felonies carry an advisory prison sentence of one year with the allowance to add or subtract six months. A commonly charged Level 6 felony is theft.
- Level 5 felonies carry an advisory sentence of three years and allow adding an additional three years or subtracting up to two years. That means the sentencing range for a Level 5 felony is one to six years with a $10,000.00 maximum fine. A commonly charged Level 5 crime is battery resulting in serious bodily injury.
- Level 4 felonies carry an advisory sentence of six years and allow for adding an additional six years or subtracting up to four years. This makes the range for a Level 4 felony from two to 12 years with a maximum fine of $10,000.00. A commonly charged Level 4 crime is residential burglary.
- Level 3 felonies carry an advisory sentence of nine years and allow an additional seven years or subtracting up to six years. The range, therefore, is three to 16 years, with a maximum fine of $10,000.00. A commonly charged Level 3 crime is aggravated battery.
- Level 2 felonies carry an advisory sentence of 17-1/2 years and allow an additional 12-1/2 years or subtracting up to 7-1/2 years. The range, therefore, is 10 to 30, with a max fine of $10,000.00. A commonly charged Level 2 crime is voluntary manslaughter.
- Level 1 felonies carry an advisory sentence of 30 years and allow an additional 10 years or subtracting up to 10 years. The range, therefore, is 20 to 40 years. Attempted murder is an example of a Level 5 crime.
- Murder is in a level of its own and carries an advisory sentence of 55 years and allows the addition or subtraction of 10 years. Thus, the sentencing range for murder is 45 to 65 years in prison with maximum $10,000.00 fine.
Another defense lawyer promised he can get my case dismissed. Can you?
We run into this more often than we wished, and feel obliged to tell prospective clients that it is simply unfair (and unethical) to guarantee the outcome in a criminal case. We can inform you of the outcomes of similar cases, and what a likely outcome might be for you, based on history and charges. But guaranteeing a specific outcome is both unethical and impossible.
Can you get my charges dropped?
It is very difficult to get charges dismissed once they have been filed. That’s why hiring a defense attorney – and doing so quickly – before charges are filed is essential.
What are the levels of misdemeanors?
A misdemeanor is punishable by no more than one year of incarceration.
- Class C misdemeanors carry a possible sentence of 0 to 60 days in jail with a maximum fine of $500.00. An example of a Class C misdemeanor is a minor in possession of alcohol.
- Class B misdemeanors carry a range of 0 to 180 days in jail with a maximum penalty of $1,000.00. Public intoxication is an example of a commonly charged Class B misdemeanor.
- Class A misdemeanors carry a penalty of 0 to 365 days in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. Common Class A misdemeanors include operating a vehicle while intoxicated and endangering a person, or possession of marijuana.