A Look at the Serious Violent Felon

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This weeks blog looks at Indiana’s Serious Violent Felon Law. The Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower know this charge has serious implications.  The serious violent felon statute was created with the idea of making it a very serious matter if someone that is convicted of a serious violent felony later possess a firearm.  The idea being, keep guns out of the hands of the serious violent felons and the gun related crimes will decrease.
First, we have to look at what convictions will qualify someone to be labeled a serious violent felon.  If you are convicted of the following crimes, then you are a serious violent felon:

(1) murder (IC 35-42-1-1);
(2) voluntary manslaughter (IC 35-42-1-3);
(3) reckless homicide not committed by means of a vehicle (IC 35-42-1-5);
(4) battery (IC 35-42-2-1) as a:
(A) Class A felony, Class B felony, or Class C felony, for a crime committed before July 1, 2014; or
(B) Level 2 felony, Level 3 felony, Level 4 felony, or Level 5 felony, for a crime committed after June 30, 2014;
(5) aggravated battery (IC 35-42-2-1.5);
(6) kidnapping (IC 35-42-3-2);
(7) criminal confinement (IC 35-42-3-3);
(8) rape (IC 35-42-4-1);
(9) criminal deviate conduct (IC 35-42-4-2) (before its repeal);
(10) child molesting (IC 35-42-4-3);
(11) sexual battery (IC 35-42-4-8) as a:
(A) Class C felony, for a crime committed before July 1, 2014; or
(B) Level 5 felony, for a crime committed after June 30, 2014;
(12) robbery (IC 35-42-5-1);
(13) carjacking (IC 5-42-5-2) (before its repeal);
(14) arson (IC 35-43-1-1(a)) as a:
(A) Class A felony or Class B felony, for a crime committed before July 1, 2014; or
(B) Level 2 felony, Level 3 felony, or Level 4 felony, for a crime committed after June 30, 2014;
(15) burglary (IC 35-43-2-1) as a:
(A) Class A felony or Class B felony, for a crime committed before July 1, 2014; or
(B) Level 1 felony, Level 2 felony, Level 3 felony, or Level 4 felony, for a crime committed after June 30, 2014;
(16) assisting a criminal (IC 35-44.1-2-5) as a:
(A) Class C felony, for a crime committed before July 1, 2014; or
(B) Level 5 felony, for a crime committed after June 30, 2014;
(17) resisting law enforcement (IC 35-44.1-3-1) as a:
(A) Class B felony or Class C felony, for a crime committed before July 1, 2014; or
(B) Level 2 felony, Level 3 felony, or Level 5 felony, for a crime committed after June 30, 2014;
(18) escape (IC 35-44.1-3-4) as a:
(A) Class B felony or Class C felony, for a crime committed before July 1, 2014; or
(B) Level 4 felony or Level 5 felony, for a crime committed after June 30, 2014;
(19) trafficking with an inmate (IC 35-44.1-3-5) as a:
(A) Class C felony, for a crime committed before July 1, 2014; or
(B) Level 5 felony, for a crime committed after June 30, 2014;
(20) criminal gang intimidation (IC 35-45-9-4);
(21) stalking (IC 35-45-10-5) as a:
(A) Class B felony or Class C felony, for a crime committed before July 1, 2014; or
(B) Level 4 felony or Level 5 felony, for a crime committed after June 30, 2014;
(22) incest (IC 35-46-1-3);
(23) dealing in or manufacturing cocaine or a narcotic drug (IC 35-48-4-1);
(24) dealing in methamphetamine (IC 35-48-4-1.1);
(25) dealing in a schedule I, II, or III controlled substance (IC 35-48-4-2);
(26) dealing in a schedule IV controlled substance (IC 35-48-4-3); or
(27) dealing in a schedule V controlled substance (IC 35-48-4-4).

Now that we know what makes someone a serious violent felon, what happens if they possess a firearm?  If you have any of the prior convictions and you knowingly or intentionally possess a firearm, then you have committed possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.  The penalty for this is a Level 4 felony.  That means, if you are a serious violent felon and have a gun, you are facing between 2 and 12 years in the Department of Corrections.
There is much debate on whether or not this crime prevents previously convicted individuals from possessing a firearm, but it does certainly carry a very stiff penalty should it happen.  Additionally, many times when a person is charged with this crime, it is added on to whatever crime that caused them to be arrested.  The charge of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon is likely to be consecutive to whatever other charge might have occurred, if allowed by law.
If you have been charged with possession of firearm by a serious violent felon or any other criminal matter, then you need the experienced trial attorneys at the Indianapolis Criminal Defense firm of Banks & Brower on your side.  Contact us today at 317-870-0019.