Criminal Offense in Indiana
Almost any actions that physically or financially harm other parties qualify as criminal offenses in Indiana. The state categorizes crimes according to their severity, and penalties escalate alongside the perceived seriousness of crimes. The criminal justice system labels people charged with crimes as defendants. If you are in this position, a Carmel Indiana lawyer can inform you about penalties and help you develop a defense strategy.
Criminal Offense Classifications
Misdemeanors and felonies represent the first level of criminal offense classification. Misdemeanors apply to offenses that society has deemed less severe than the crimes that possess the felony designation. In Indiana, misdemeanors carry penalties that can include up to one year in jail. Sentences for felonies can include jail time of a minimum of one year and sometimes decades.
The state divides misdemeanors into the Classes A, B, and C. Authorities apply the Class A designation to the most serious misdemeanors. A Class A conviction could send a person to jail for one year and impose a fine as high as $5,000. At the Class B level, sentencing guidelines drop to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. For a Class C conviction, defendants face sentences of up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500.
Felonies cover a broader spectrum of criminal offenses. Indiana places the majority of serious crimes into six felony levels, except for murder, which is unclassified. Level 1 felonies encompass the most severe crimes, and the scale descends in severity through Levels 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Criminal Offense Examples
The prosecutor will look at the evidence and decide where your alleged behavior fits on the misdemeanor of felony scales. Accusations of rape involving the use of deadly force or a weapon would likely result in a Level 1 felony charge. Sentencing guidelines call for prison terms ranging from 20 to 40 years plus fines up to $10,000.
The felony level for drug manufacturing charges varies according to the type of controlled substance involved. Manufacturing Schedule I or II narcotics or cocaine could represent a Level 5 felony punishable by one to six years in prison. The state views methamphetamine manufacturing as a Level 4 felony that calls for two to twelve years in prison.
Financial crimes can rise to the felony level, as well. Credit card fraud, depending on the circumstances, might be a Level 5 or Level 6 felony.
Learn Your Rights
If you have been arrested, a Carmel Indiana lawyer can explain your options for combating criminal charges. Contact Webster & Garino today to learn more.
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