I’ve Been Arrested for a Misdemeanor in Indiana, Now What?
For most people, when they are arrested for the first time they have committed a misdemeanor. These are sometimes called “petty” crimes. However, when someone has been arrested for the first time nothing seems petty and the potential penalties for a misdemeanor sound quite scary.
Three Classes of Misdemeanors in Indiana
- Class A Misdemeanor: A Class A misdemeanor carries a penalty that ranges from 0 days in jail up to 1 year in jail. There is also a maximum fine of $5000.00.
- Class B Misdemeanor: A Class B misdemeanor carries a penalty that ranges from 0 days in jail up to 180 days in jail. There is a maximum fine of $1000.00.
- Class C Misdemeanor: A Class C misdemeanor carries a penalty of 0 days in jail up to 60 days in jail. The maximum penalty under this class is $500.00
If you are caught by the police having alleged to have committed a misdemeanor a couple things can happen. First, the police can arrest you and take you directly to jail. If that happens you will either be later released of be given a bond you can post to get out of jail. The other option is the police can release you and you will be given a summons to appear in court on a later date.
Under either the arrest situation or the summons situation your first hearing will be called an initial hearing. In some counties, if you hire an attorney before the initial hearing your attorney can waive that hearing and you won’t have to show. If you do attend the initial hearing the court will explain to you the charges you are facing and the possible penalties you could face as outlined above.
So, having read the possible penalties you might think, “Wow! That seems harsh.” Well if everyone charged with a misdemeanor ended up in jail then we would have to increase our jails by tenfold. Most of the time, people committing misdemeanors will do very little or no jail at all. One of the options that is normally allowed for first time offenders is to enter into a diversion program. This program allows a person to complete some requirements such as community service or drug counseling and if it is completed successfully the charges are dismissed. You can read more about diversions by clicking on this link.
Some misdemeanors charges and those who have been in trouble before may not qualify for a diversion. In those instances, many times the penalty will include probation. This result will include a conviction on your criminal history and a period of time that you are supervised by your local probation department to make sure you are complying with probation and all laws. For more details on what all is included when on probation click on this link.
There are instances where you may have to do executed time on a misdemeanor. Most often this would be for someone with significant criminal history, multiple DUI convictions or there was something particularly egregious about the facts of your case. If you have to do an executed sentence that may be served in jail, home detention or work release in most counties.
In closing, if you are arrested for a misdemeanor it can be a very scary situation. Being involved in the court system can be intimidating. The Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys at Banks & Brower stand ready to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just give us a call at (317) 870-0019 and we will help you with your arrest.