Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving Indiana

Misdemeanors | Criminal Lawyer in Indiana

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving Indiana

Misdemeanors | Criminal Lawyer in Indiana

Misdemeanors | Criminal Lawyer in Indiana

owi in Indiana


Misdemeanor charges deserve your serious attention. Asking a misdemeanor lawyer in Indiana to represent you is not an overreaction. Many types of misdemeanors could lead to serving time in county jail. On top of this tremendous inconvenience, you can expect fines, mandatory classes, or probation. Misdemeanor convictions also show up on criminal background checks. A strong defense orchestrated by Webster & Garino, LLC could reduce these adverse outcomes and preserve your freedom.

owi in Indiana

2. What Is a Misdemeanor in Indiana?

2. What Is a Misdemeanor in Indiana?

Criminal offenses that state law penalizes with less than one year in jail are called misdemeanors. Many illegal behaviors fall into this category, such as:
Some operating while intoxicated (OWI) charges
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Boating While Intoxicated (OWI)
Public intoxication
Minor in possession of alcohol
Disorderly conduct
Some drug possession
Check fraud
Domestic battery

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving Indiana

A misdemeanor attorney in Indiana who evaluates your case will explain potential penalties and recommend your defense options. Knowing what could happen in court prepares you to make realistic decisions.

Additionally, legal representation could protect you from aggressive prosecution if you have been charged with multiple crimes. In some situations, a prosecutor could elect to bump up a misdemeanor to a Level 6 felony.

owi in Indiana

3. How to Find the Best Misdemeanor Lawyer in Indiana

For starters, only contact lawyers who practice criminal law. Misdemeanors may not be the most severe form of trouble that you can get into, but a criminal court will process them. For that reason, you need someone who understands criminal court procedures and has experience communicating with prosecutors.

Contacting more than one law office as you search for someone to help you is okay. You want to find someone responsive to your needs and capable of giving your case personal attention, such as Webster & Garino, LLC. Our misdemeanor attorney in Indiana works hard to solve problems for every person who has to deal with criminal charges.

Another thing to check is that the law office represents clients in the court where you must appear. You don’t have to limit yourself to the closest law office to the court that charged you. Most lawyers interact with multiple local court districts. Although finding a criminal attorney near me may be convenient, going farther afield could be worth it to find a lawyer with the right experience.

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving Indiana

Finally, it’s good to look ahead and ask if the lawyer provides services related to expungement or sentence modification. A lawyer cannot always prevent conviction, but their continued efforts could get your criminal record sealed or penalties reduced.

4. Misdemeanor Classifications and Penalties in Indiana

State criminal statutes organize offenses by their perceived level of severity or potential harm to society. Misdemeanors have three levels: Class A, B, and C. Class A is the highest level before felony charges apply, class B is of medium concern, and Class C is the lowest level.

Examples of Class A misdemeanors:
Sale or possession of marijuana
Battery with bodily injury
Theft up to $750 value
OWI of 0.15% BAC or higher
DUI of 0.15% BAC or higher
OWI with endangerment
DUI with endangerment
Resisting law enforcement

Examples of Class B misdemeanors:
Public intoxication
Disorderly conduct
Criminal mischief to property
Marijuana possession

Examples of Class C misdemeanors:
OWI between 0.08% and 0.15% BAC
DUI between 0.08% and 0.15% BAC
Possession of drug paraphernalia
Public nudity
Public indecency

Class A misdemeanor penalties:
Up to one year in county jail
Fines up to $5,000
Probation up to one year*

Class B misdemeanor penalties:
Up to 180 days in county jail
Fines up to $1,000
Probation up to one year*

Class C misdemeanor penalties:
Up to 60 days in county jail
Fines up to $500
Probation up to one year*

*Probation and jail time combined cannot exceed one year.

Judges may also impose penalties such as community service, payment of restitution, or mandatory attendance of classes.

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving Indiana

The penalties listed above represent maximum sentences, and judges often have the power to pass down lighter sentences. The role of a misdemeanor, criminal attorney in Indiana is to, first and foremost, convince the court to drop charges due to lack of evidence or law enforcement violating a defendant’s rights.

However, your defense attorney will argue for a light sentence when this is not feasible. Elimination of jail time is a top priority. The court might be convinced to apply minimal penalties if:
Crime had no victim.
First offense
Show of remorse by the defendant
Any extenuating circumstances, such as being strongly provoked

5. The Misdemeanor Sentencing Procedure in Indiana

If the evidence meets the threshold for convicting you of a misdemeanor, your lawyer’s work does not stop. Your lawyer may propose that the court efficiently conclude your case with a plea deal. This means that you agree to plead guilty, and the prosecutor agrees to recommend a sentence with favorable terms.

Alternatively, if you were convicted at trial, your lawyer will prepare arguments that call for the lenient application of the Indiana misdemeanor sentencing guidelines.

The misdemeanor penalties summarized above come from the sentencing guidelines provided by the state. Judges use these guidelines as the starting point when deciding your sentence. The penalties cannot exceed the maximum penalties in the guidelines except under certain circumstances. Prior criminal convictions, causing bodily harm, or committing a crime in front of a child often motivate judges to select stiffer penalties.

On the other hand, judges have the option to avoid giving you jail time for a misdemeanor, especially on a first offense. By and large, they can take jail time off the table entirely if they want.

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving Indiana

With misdemeanors, a conviction will likely produce a term of probation or a fine. Once again, the fine does not have to be the maximum allowed by the sentencing guidelines.

Representation from a misdemeanor lawyer in Indiana helps you avoid the worst penalties if a conviction is unavoidable. A defense lawyer can highlight the reasons you deserve leniency. Without legal representation, the court may take your guilty plea and quickly issue a harsh sentence without giving much regard to your personal situation or level of regret.

owi in Indiana

6. Conclusion

After being charged with a misdemeanor, you should not assume that the best way to handle it is to plead guilty. You have a right to speak with a misdemeanor lawyer in Indiana because the criminal justice system may not have sufficient evidence to convict you.

A Webster & Garino, LLC lawyer could examine your case and explain if you have any viable defense strategies that could prevent conviction altogether. This would be a far superior outcome to living with a criminal record.

You benefit when you can make decisions about your future with a complete understanding of possible penalties and their consequences for your life. Plan your next steps with a well-thought-out legal strategy. Call us at 317-565-1818 or fill out the contact form today.

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