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Understanding Criminal Charges in Indiana – Part 2

In part 1 of this two-part blog post, we explained what the different levels of crimes are in Indiana and what that can mean in terms of the penalty that someone convicted of a crime at any of those levels may face. This post will discuss the different crimes that may be charged at each of those levels.

Circumstances Can Make a Difference

Many crimes can be charged at more than one level, depending on the facts of that particular situation. For example, the offense of Battery can be charged as a Class B Misdemeanor (up to 180 days in jail) or as a level 6, 5, 4, 3, or 2 Felony. Which level is charged will vary depending on the facts of the situation and what prosecutors believe they can prove at trial.

That’s an important point to understand. Take a situation that is not all that uncommon: an argument in a bar or a club turns physical, and two people who were quietly enjoying their drinks a few minutes ago are suddenly throwing punches. One is struck by a punch, slips on some spilled beer, hits their head on the edge of the pool table, and is seriously injured.

Depending on how serious the injury is, the person who threw the last punch might find themselves charged with any one of these types of Battery: a Class B misdemeanor because the punch resulted in “bodily injury” to the other person; a Level 6 felony if the injury is “moderate;” or a Level 5 felony if the injury is “serious.”

If the person on the floor dies as a result of their injuries, the charge might be Involuntary Manslaughter, a Level 5 felony, for killing “another human being while committing” battery. Or if there is evidence that the person who threw the punch intended to cause the other person to die, they might be charged with Voluntary Manslaughter, a Level 2 felony.

Common Types of Crimes at Various Offense Levels

What applies in the case of Battery also applies to other crimes. Many crimes in Indiana have more than one possible offense level. Prosecutors often charge a defendant with more than one level of crime for the same set of acts, relying on the jury to decide which offense the defendant is guilty of.

Keeping in mind that many crimes can be charged at more than one offense level, here are some of the crimes that are commonly charged at each of Indiana’s offense levels:

Level 1 Felony: Attempted murder; sale of drugs that result in the user’s death; rape involving the use or threat of deadly force; robbery, where the victim is seriously injured.

Level 2 Felony: Voluntary manslaughter, sex trafficking of a minor, conspiracy to commit a felony.

Level 3 Felony: Aggravated battery, armed robbery, rape

Level 4 Felony: Home burglary, arson, manufacture of methamphetamine.

Level 5 Felony: Burglary of a building that isn’t a home, motor vehicle theft, involuntary manslaughter.

Level 6 Felony: Breaking and entering a home, organized retail theft, kidnapping.

Class A Misdemeanor: Theft where the value is less than $750, domestic battery, criminal mischief.

Class B Misdemeanor: Criminal recklessness, hazing, disorderly conduct.

Class C Misdemeanor: Public nudity or indecency, operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, operation of a tobacco or vaping business near a school.

Infractions: Littering, obstruction of traffic, failure to return library materials.

Again, many of these crimes can be charged as more serious offenses depending on the facts of the case.

Consequences of a Conviction

If you’re convicted of or plead guilty to a misdemeanor or felony, there are consequences that can affect you beyond having to pay a fine or spend time in prison. Many employers, landlords, and schools will ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime and may reject your application based on your record. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, your right to own a firearm may be restricted, and you may lose the right to receive certain government benefits such as SNAP. You may be unable to secure a professional license such as those required to work as a nurse, real estate agent, barber, and more. DUI convictions may result in the loss of your driver’s license or an increase in your car insurance rates.

Razumich & Associates Can Help

If you’ve been charged with any criminal offense, contact Razumich & Associates to discuss your case and learn how we can help you protect your rights. Our attorneys have years of experience defending clients in criminal cases all across Indiana. We understand Indiana’s criminal laws and procedures and will fight to protect your rights.

Call us today at 317-449-8661 or use our contact form to tell us a bit about your case. We are here to listen and to help.

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