A felony is a serious criminal offense in Indiana. Felonies are typically more severe than misdemeanors and often result in more severe penalties, including imprisonment for a year or more. This comprehensive explanation explores the concept of a felony, the classification of felonies in Indiana, legal consequences, and examples to provide a clear understanding.

Verdelski Miller is a trusted criminal defense lawyer in Evansville, Indiana with over three decades of experience. If you have been charged with a crime in Evansville or surrounding areas, call our office today at 812-425-9170!

Felony Classification in Indiana

Felonies are classified into different categories based on the severity of the offense. These categories may vary by jurisdiction. Indiana classifies felonies into six levels, plus murder.


Murder in Indiana is categorized as an unclassified felony with three potential sentences: a fixed term of 45 to 55 years imprisonment, life imprisonment without parole, or the death penalty.

Level 1

Level 1 felonies are considered the most serious crimes besides murder. A conviction carries between 20 to 40 years in prison, with a recommended advisory sentence of 30 years. Examples of Level 1 felonies include attempted murder and aggravated rape with the use of a weapon or deadly violence.

Level 2

For Level 2 felonies, individuals face 10 to 30 years in prison, with a suggested advisory sentence of 17 and a half years. Offenses in this category include burglary resulting in serious bodily injury and manufacturing or dealing in narcotics.

Level 3

Level 3 felonies merit sentences of 3 to 16 years, with a recommended advisory sentence of 9 years. Examples of Level 3 felonies include aggravated battery and rape.

Level 4

Prison terms for level 4 felonies range from 2 to 12 years, with a recommended advisory sentence of 6 years. Examples of this category include arson and extortion.

Level 5

Level 5 felonies carry sentences of 1 to 6 years’ imprisonment, with an advisory sentence of 3 years). Examples include robbery with no bodily injuries and some drug crimes.

Level 6

A level 6 felony conviction can lead to imprisonment for 6 months to 2 and half years, with one year as a recommended sentence. Examples include auto theft and some fraud charges. In some situations, a judge can reduce a Level 6 felony to a Class A misdemeanor.

Legal Consequences of Felonies

Committing a felony can have serious legal consequences, including:

a. Imprisonment: Conviction of a felony often results in a prison sentence, which can range from several years to life imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense.

b. Fines: Felonies may carry substantial fines in addition to imprisonment. These fines can be financially burdensome for the convicted individual.

c. Probation: In some cases, a judge may order probation as part of the sentence, requiring the convicted individual to adhere to specific conditions while living in the community.

d. Loss of Civil Rights: Felons may lose certain civil rights, such as the right to vote, serve on a jury, or possess firearms, depending on local laws and regulations.

Examples of Felonies

Felonies encompass a wide range of offenses. Here are some examples to illustrate the variety of crimes classified as felonies:

a. Murder: Taking another person’s life intentionally or with malice aforethought is typically considered a capital felony or a first-degree felony, depending on jurisdiction.

b. Armed Robbery: Robbing someone while using a weapon is often categorized as a first-degree felony.

c. Drug Trafficking: Illegally selling or distributing controlled substances, such as narcotics or opioids, can be classified as a felony.

d. Burglary: Breaking into someone’s property with the intent to commit a crime, such as theft, is often considered a felony offense.

e. Fraud: Engaging in financial deception, such as embezzlement or identity theft, may lead to felony charges.

Expungement and Felonies

Expungement is a legal process that allows individuals to clear certain criminal records. However, expungement eligibility and procedures for felonies can be more complex and limited compared to misdemeanors. Some jurisdictions do not allow the expungement of felony convictions, while others may have waiting periods and specific criteria for eligibility.

Call Verdelski Miller Today!

Indiana classifies felony offenses by severity, with murder being the most serious and level 6 felonies being the least serious. Committing a felony can lead to imprisonment, fines, probation, and the loss of certain civil rights. Felonies encompass a wide range of offenses, from murder and armed robbery to drug trafficking and fraud. Expungement may be available for some felony convictions but is subject to jurisdiction-specific rules and limitations.

Verdelski Miller is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Evansville, Indiana with over three decades of experience. If you have been charged with a crime in Evansville or surrounding areas, call our office today at 812-425-9170!

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