Understanding Credit Time in Criminal Cases

Whenever someone is sentenced in a criminal case in Indiana, the Court takes great concern to appropriately and accurately apply any credit time the defendant is afforded when carrying out the formal sentencing. No one should ever serve more time for any offense beyond what the level of offense requires minus the time they have already served while awaiting trial— otherwise, a defendant can serve a longer sentence than is necessary and constitutionally allowed.

So what is credit time? IC 35-60-6-0.5 defines four types of credit:

  • Accrued time – the number of days that a defendant is actually in custody
  • Educational credit – a certain amount of days credited for the defendant’s participation in vocational, educational, or rehabilitative programming, etc. while incarcerated
  • Good time credit – so long as a defendant has good behavior while in custody, they are awarded a further reduction of their sentence based on the credit classes below
  • Credit time – the sum of accrued time, educational credit, and good time credit

The credit classes are as follows:

Credit Class A – All non-credit restricted felons* who are serving time for a Misdemeanor or Level 6 felony.

  • 1 good time day for every 1 accrued day
  • Credit Calculation: 1 accrued day + 1 good time days = 2 credit days
  • Example – sentenced to 365 days, will serve 182.5
  • Serve 50% of the executed sentence

Credit Class B – All non-credit restricted felons* who are serving time for Levels 1-5 felonies.

  • 1 good time day for every 3 accrued days
  • Credit Calculation: 3 accrued days + 1 good time day = 4 credit days
  • Example – sentenced to 365 days, will serve 273 days
  • Serve 75% of the executed sentence

Credit Class C – All credit-restricted felons* regardless of the charge level. Individuals initially assigned to Credit Class A or B can be reassigned to Class C for bad behavior while incarcerated, but not for violating a rule of probation.

  • 1 good time day for every 6 accrued days
  • Credit Calculation: 6 accrued days + 1 good time day = 7 credit days
  • Example – sentenced to 365 days, will serve 312 days
  • Serve 85.7% of the executed sentence

Credit Class D – Individuals initially assigned to Credit Class A, B, or C can be reassigned to Class D for bad behavior while incarcerated, but not for violating a rule of probation.

  • No good time days
  • Credit Calculation: No Credit Given
  • Example – sentenced to 365 days, will serve 365 days
  • Serve 100% of the executed sentence

Credit Class P – Only individuals who are awaiting trial on home detention, regardless of the underlying charges. This class does not apply to convicted individuals on home detention, who would fall under the appropriate offense level class above.

  • 1 good time day for every 4 accrued days, BUT accrued days do not count toward credit days
  • Credit Calculation: 4 accrued days + 1 good time day = 1 credit day
  • Example – await trial on home detention for 365 days, reduce final sentence by only 91.25 days
  • Receive 25% of the actual days on pre-trial home detention toward final executed sentence

A credit restricted felon is anyone who is:
(1) at least 21 years old and has been convicted of child molesting involving sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct involving a child under 12;
(2) convicted of child molest resulting in serious bodily injury or death; or
(3) convicted of murder:

(a) while attempting a child molest;
(b) of a victim of a sex crime for which the person was convicted; or
(c) of a victim “to be a witness against the defendant in a prosecution for a sex crime” to keep the victim from testifying.

If you or someone you know have a question about credit time give us a call here at Banks and Brower (317) 526-4630 where you can get a real consultation with a real attorney before deciding what is best for you.