Arrested A Look at the Possible Penalites

Once someone has been arrested they normally have a period of time where they experience shock and disbelief.  This reaction quickly turns into an emotion of fearing the possible penalties for the allegations that have been made.  In this blog we will run through the potential penalties for the various levels of crime.
First we will take a look at the potential penalties for misdemeanors.  One major distinction between misdemeanors and felonies is that any executed time on a misdemeanor is served in the county jail, as opposed to the state prison.  The lowest level misdemeanor is a Class “C” misdemeanor.  A class “C” misdemeanor carries a possible sentence of 0 to 60 days in jail with a maximum fine of $500.00.  An example of a “C” misdemeanor is minor in possession of alcohol.
A class “B” misdemeanor carries 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 “B” misdemeanor.  A class “A” misdemeanor carries a penalty of 0 to 365 days in jail and a $5,000.00 fine.  Common “A” misdemeanors include possession of marijuana and operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person.
Next, we will look at the Felony level.  With felonies, the legislature has issued a range that includes a recommended (known as advisory) sentence and then allows for a term of years that can be added or subtracted.  Many times all or a portion of these sentences may be served on community corrections (home detention or work release) or be suspended to probation.  How the court determines placement of an executed sentence will be discussed in a future blog.  First is the “6” felony.  “6” Felonies carry an advisory prison sentence of 1 year with the allowance to add 1 ½ years or subtract 6 months.  This means the range for a “D” felony is 180 days to 2 1/2 years and a maximum $10,000.00 fine.  A commonly charged “6” felony is theft.
The next class of felony is the “5” felony.  A level “5” felony carries and advisory sentence of 3 years and allows for subtracting up to 2 of those years or adding an additional 3 years.  That means the sentencing range for a level “5” felony is 1 to 6 years with a $10,000.00 maximum fine.  A commonly charged “5” felony is battery resulting in serious bodily injury.
Level “4” felony is the next level of felony.  A level “4” felony carries an advisory sentence of 6 years in prison and allows for the possibility of adding another 6 years or subtracting up to 4 years.  This makes the range for a class “4” felony from 2 to 12 years with a maximum fine of $10,000.00.  Residential burglary is a commonly filed “4” felony.
Next is the level “3” felony.  A level “3” felony carries an advisory sentence of 9 years and allows the sentencing court to add 7 years or subtract up to 6 years.  The range, therefore, is 3 to 16 years in the department of corrections (commonly known as the DOC).  The level “3” felony also carries a max fine of $10,000.00.  Aggravated battery is an example of a “3” felony.
Level “2” felony is the next level of felony.  A level “2” felony carries an advisory sentence of 17 1/2 years and allows the sentencing court to add 12 1/2 years or subtract up to 7 1/2 years.  The range, therefore, is 10 to 30 years in the department of corrections (commonly known as the DOC).  The level “2” felony also carries a max fine of $10,000.00.  Voluntary manslaughter is an example of a “2” felony.
Next is the level “1” felony.  A level “1” felony carries an advisory sentence of 30 years and allows the sentencing court to add 10 years or subtract up to 10 years.  The range, therefore, is 20 to 40 years in the department of corrections (commonly known as the DOC).  The level “1” felony also carries a max fine of $10,000.00.  Attempted murder is an example of a “1” felony.
Lastly is the crime of Murder.  Due to the serious nature of the offense, it is in a sentencing class of its own.  Murder 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.
There are lots of factors that determine where a defendant’s sentence will end up within the various ranges.  Additionally, there is a number of felony sentencing enhancements that may be filed that could add substantial time to a sentence.  In Indiana, life without parole and death penalty apply in certain circumstances.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges it is very important that you understand your maximum exposure in terms of sentencing.  Only after this understanding can you make an informed decision on how best to proceed with your case. If you have been arrested for a criminal charge contact the Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower to help you with your case. We can be called on 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 317-870-0019.