In Indiana, those who are accused of committing a crime could face charges in court. Whether a defendant is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, he or she could be required to pay hefty fines or even spend time in prison. Furthermore, those who are convicted will have a permanent criminal record, which can make it difficult to secure employment or find housing.
Like most other states, Indiana divides criminal laws into felonies and misdemeanors. The former covers crimes that are considered to be more serious, such as assault and possession of controlled substances, while the latter refers to less serious offenses, such as public intoxication and petty theft. The penalties for committing a misdemeanor offense range in severity from fines of a few hundred dollars to fines of $5,000 and jail sentences of up to a year. Felonies are divided into six different classes and are punishable by up to 40 years in prison, although a sentence can be increased to life in prison.
At Tanzillo Stassin & Babcock, P.C., we represent defendants who have been charged with a variety of offenses, including:
Defending those who have been accused of these crimes requires a thorough knowledge of state law and criminal procedure, so if you were recently charged with a criminal offense in Indiana, it is critical to meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney who may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.
One of the most commonly charged offenses in Indiana is operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). Drivers can be charged with OWI if they have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 percent or more, although the threshold for those under the age of 21 years old is lower, as underage drivers with a BAC of anywhere between .02 and .08 percent can be charged with OWI. The penalties faced by defendants who are convicted of this offense depend on a number of factors, including the driver’s BAC level at the time of arrest, the ages of any passengers, and whether the driver has any prior OWI convictions. For example, a person who is charged with driving under the influence who had a BAC of .08 percent could expect to be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by two months in prison. Those with a BAC of .15 percent or more, on the other hand, will face Class A misdemeanor charges, which if they are convicted, could result in a one year prison sentence.
If you were recently arrested for or charged with a criminal offense, you need the advice of an experienced attorney.