A Look at Community Corrections and Crimes that Qualify for Direct Placement

A Quick Look at the Impact of Being Non-Suspendible and the Community Corrections Option:

Being charged with a crime is undoubtedly a frightening situation for many reasons. The most terrifying of which has to be the possibility of time behind bars.  When someone is charged with a crime, whether it be a misdemeanor or a felony, there is always the risk that they may spend some time incarcerated. The more serious the charges, the more risk of having to serve time.  In addition to the level of the charges, one’s criminal history plays a significant role in the likelihood they will do time, especially if it causes them to be what’s known as “non-suspendible.”
Being non-suspendible essentially means that if someone is convicted of a felony, they must serve at least the sentence minimum for that level of felony as an executed sentence.  For example, the sentence range for a level 3 felony is 3-16 years.  If somebody is convicted of level 3 felony and they are non-suspendible, they must serve at least a 3-year executed sentence.  In contrast, if they are deemed to be suspendible, their entire sentence may be suspended, meaning that it hangs over their head while they are placed on probation for a period of time.
Even though someone who is non-suspendible must serve an executed sentence, that does not necessarily mean they are going to prison.  Pursuant to Indiana Code 35-38-2.6-3, under certain circumstances, the courts have the authority to sentence people to a community corrections program rather than the Department of Corrections.  In other words, both placement in prison, as well as placement in a community corrections program qualify as executed time.  A community corrections program must consist of work release, electronic monitoring, day treatment, or day reporting.  There are many benefits to being allowed to serve an executed sentence in community corrections.  The most significant is obvious from its title – an individual is allowed to stay within the community while serving the executed sentence.  An additional benefit of being sentenced to a community corrections program is that it also qualifies to earn good time credit.
There are, however, some crimes that do not allow the court the option to sentence a person to a community corrections program.  According to IC 35-38-2.6-1, you cannot be placed directly into a community corrections program if you have been convicted of any of the following:

  • A sex crime under 35-42-4 or 35-46-1-3
  • Any of the following felonies:
    1. Murder
    2. Battery with a deadly weapon or battery resulting in serious bodily injury
    3. Kidnapping
    4. Criminal confinement with a deadly weapon
    5. Robbery with a deadly weapon or robbery resulting in serious bodily injury
    6. Arson for hire resulting in serious bodily injury
    7. Burglary resulting in serious bodily injury
    8. Resisting law enforcement with a deadly weapon
    9. Escape with a deadly weapon
    10. Rioting with a deadly weapon
    11. Aggravated battery
    12. Disarming a law enforcement officer
  • An offense under 9-30-5-4 or 9-30-5-5 (operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury or death).

What this means is that if a person is convicted of one of the crimes listed above and they are non-suspendible, they must be sentenced to prison as they cannot be directly placed into a community corrections program.  The key to this is whether or not the person is actually non-suspendible.  In certain circumstances the type of crime for which a person is convicted causes them to be non-suspendible, but much more commonly, it is a person’s prior criminal history which causes such a situation.
It is important to speak with an attorney if you or someone you know is facing any criminal charges, and especially felony charges and when there is prior criminal history involved.  Contact the experienced Indianapolis Criminal Defense attorneys at Banks & Brower, LLC 24/7 at 317-870-0019 or info@banksbrower.com for help with your case today.