A Look at Indiana’s Sentencing Guidelines

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Below is a chart showing the classes of felony crimes in Indiana and the associated sentencing ranges.  Also included is the advisory sentence for each category of felony.


Felony Level Sentence Range (min. – adv. – max.)
Murder 45 – 55 – 65
Level 1 20 – 30 – 40
Level 2 10 – 17.5 – 30
Level 3 3 – 9 – 16
Level 4 2 – 6 – 12
Level 5 1 – 3 – 6
Level 6 0.5 – 1 – 2.5


As to the suspension of sentences, the new statutory scheme allows suspension of sentences for lower-level felonies.

  • Murder and Level 1 felonies: a court may only suspend any part of the sentence that is above the minimum.  Thus, for a level 1 felony where an individual is sentenced to the 30 year advisory sentence, only 10 years of the 30 may be suspended.
  • Level 2 and Level 3 felonies (except for Level 2 and Level 3 felony controlled substance offenses under 35-48-4): a court may only suspend any part of a sentence that is above the minimum if the person has a prior unrelated felony conviction.
  • Levels 4, 5, and 6: not subject to the prohibition on the suspension of a sentence.


Indiana applies credit time differently depending on the type and level of felony.  Below is a chart which shows the categories, the amount of credit time received, and the felony levels to which each class applies.

Credit Time Class Credit Time Offense Level Amount of Sentence Served
A 1 day credit for 1 day served Misdemeanor & Level 6 Felony 50%
B 1 day credit for 3 days served Level 1 – 5 Felonies and Murder 75%
C 1 day credit for 6 days served Credit Restricted Felon 85.7%
D No credit 100%

A credit restricted felon may not be reassigned to Classes A or B.  A person who is not a credit restricted felon can be reassigned to Classes C or D if the person violates a rule of the Department of Correction, another penal facility in which the person is imprisoned, or a rule or condition of a community transition program.  A credit restricted felon may be reassigned to Class D for the same violations.  The law provides specific circumstances where one may be categorized as a credit restricted felon, and in general certain child molestation offenses and murder offenses that involve sex crimes may qualify.

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The credit time statutes restrict the amount of educational credit that may be earned while serving a prison sentence and how that credit time is applied.  No more than one year of credit may be earned for an associate’s degree, and no more than two years of credit may be earned for a bachelor’s degree.  Up to one year of credit may be earned for vocational or technical training.
All credit time must be proportional to time served and the course completed while incarcerated, and the maximum educational credit time that can be earned is the lesser of two years or one third of the individual’s executed sentence.  Additionally, educational credit time is to be deducted from the release date (rather than the sentence imposed) after subtraction of all other credit time.
If you or someone you know is facing a criminal charge in Indiana, it is important to speak with an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney who is familiar with the laws and can advise you as to how the new criminal code will impact your case.  Contact the experienced Indianapolis Criminal Defense lawyers at Banks & Brower 24/7/365 at (317) 870-0019 or at info@banksbrower.com.  We can assist you in Marion County, Hamilton County, Boone County, Hendricks County, Johnson County, Hancock County, or any other county in Indiana.