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Paradise, Indiana, is a small community located in the southwestern part of the state, encapsulating the essence of rural living amidst scenic landscapes.

Nestled in a region characterized by rolling hills and farmland, Paradise offers residents a tranquil escape from the bustle of urban life. The town’s name aptly captures the idyllic and peaceful atmosphere that defines its character.

Paradise may be small, but it thrives on a strong sense of community, where neighbors often know each other by name, and a spirit of camaraderie prevails. The simplicity of life in Paradise is complemented by its natural surroundings, with expansive fields and meadows contributing to the town’s serene ambiance.

While the town may not boast large-scale amenities, its charm lies in the close-knit relationships among its residents and the shared appreciation for the beauty of rural Indiana. Agricultural pursuits are often central to the community, and local events such as farmers’ markets or fairs provide opportunities for residents to come together.

In Paradise, the unhurried pace of life and the connection to nature create a haven for those seeking a peaceful and tight-knit community in the heart of rural Indiana.

Paradise, Indiana

If you find yourself facing criminal charges in Paradise, Indiana, it’s essential to understand that you’re not on your own in this situation. The highly experienced criminal defense lawyers at Verdelski Miller possess a deep understanding of the nuances within the local criminal justice system, including the courts, judges, and prosecutors.

Our firm is well prepared and ready to assess the specifics of your case, determining if there are grounds for dismissal or reduction of charges. Skillful negotiation is one of our strengths, and we are committed to achieving a favorable resolution for you.

Contact Verdelski Miller today to schedule your free case evaluation. This step is essential so we can promptly begin advocating for your rights, your liberty, and future. Reach out to us today at 812-842-0998.

Felony charges in Indiana can easily change your life forever. A conviction may carry significant consequences that can make your life challenging such as losing your driving privileges and voting rights. No matter the level of felony you should contact a Paradise, IN criminal defense lawyer for help.

Indiana prosecutors are known to pursue all felony cases aggressively. So, if you have been charged with a felony, or if you believe you are under investigation for a felony, you should ensure that you seek competent legal representation, such as that offered by Verdelski Miller, without delay.

Our experienced Paradise, IN criminal defense lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case, explore all the legal options available to you, and help you make important legal decisions with confidence. Call Verdelski Miller today at 812-842-0998 to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.

Table of Contents

Levels of Felonies in Indiana

Indiana, just like many other jurisdictions, classifies felony crimes into different levels, each carrying its own set of penalties. Understanding the state’s felony classifications along with their associated penalties is critical for anybody navigating the legal system in Indiana.

Indiana started categorizing felony crimes into 6 different levels, namely: Level 1, Level 2, Level, 3, Level 4, Level 5, and Level 6 in July 2014. Each of these levels represents a varying degree of severity, with Level 1 being the most serious while Level 6 is the least severe.

Here’s a more in-depth look at each of these levels and the associated penalties:

Level 1

Level 1 felonies are the most severe crimes in the state of Indiana. Crimes here include attempted murder, treason, second-degree murder, drug dealing resulting in death, aggravated rape by use of a weapon or deadly force, and home invasion that results in serious bodily injuries.

The penalties for Level 1 felonies may include 20 to 40 years in state prison, along with an advisory sentence of 30 years for aggravating circumstances. Furthermore, the person may be fined not more than $10,000.

Level 2

Level 2 felonies in the state of Indiana involve offenses such as kidnapping for ransom, voluntary manslaughter, child sex trafficking, burglary that results in serious bodily injury, as well as manufacturing or dealing narcotics.

The penalties for a Level 2 felony can include imprisonment for between 10 and 30 years in state prison, along with an advisory sentence of 17½ years for aggravating circumstances. Furthermore, the person may be fined not more than $10,000.

Level 3

Level 3 felonies include offenses such as voluntary manslaughter, child molestation, aggravated battery that causes serious injury to another, arson resulting in serious bodily injury, fleeing police in a vehicle resulting in death to another, kidnapping, and certain drug offenses.

The penalties for Level 3 felonies can include imprisonment for between 3 and 16 years in state prison, along with an advisory sentence of 9 years for aggravating circumstances. Furthermore, the person may be fined not more than $10,000.

Level 4

Level 4 felonies in the state of Indiana include crimes such as aggravated assault, arson resulting in bodily injury, unlawful firearm possession by a serious violent felon, manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault, and certain types of fraud.

The penalties for Level 4 felonies can include imprisonment for between 2 and 12 years in state prison, along with an advisory sentence of 6 years for aggravating circumstances. Furthermore, the person may be fined not more than $10,000.

Level 5

Level 5 felonies in Indiana include offenses such as criminal recklessness involving a weapon, reckless homicide, burglary, battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, involuntary manslaughter, sexual misconduct with a child, robbery with no bodily injuries, and certain drug-related crimes.

The penalties for Level 5 felonies can include being imprisoned for a term ranging from 1 to 6 years in state prison, along with an advisory sentence of 3 years for aggravating circumstances. Furthermore, the person may be fined not more than $10,000.

Level 6

Level 6 felonies are the least severe among the felony classifications in Indiana. Offenses here include dealing in a controlled substance, auto theft, DUI with a prior within 5 years, distribution of child pornography, and certain property offenses.

The penalties for Level 6 penalties can include imprisonment for between 6 months and 2½ years in state prison, along with an advisory sentence of up to 1 year for aggravating circumstances. Furthermore, the person may be fined not more than $10,000.

Murder

Murder is the most serious felony under criminal law in the state of Indiana. Under Indiana law, an individual commits murder by intentionally and knowingly taking another individual’s life with malice aforethought.

A murder conviction in Indiana can result in 3 possible sentences, which are 45 to 65 years in state prison, with the advisory sentence being 55 years, life imprisonment without parole, or even the death penalty. Furthermore, the person may be fined not more than $10,000.

Penalties Can Vary in Indiana

It’s worth noting that all the advisory sentences are simply guidelines for the judge, so they can choose any amount of time between the 2 limits of each felony class set by law. The penalties may vary depending on prior criminal history, the specific circumstances of the case, and other relevant factors.

Reduced Felony Sentences

Indiana law allows judges to convert or reduce Level 6 felonies to Class A misdemeanors under certain circumstances. A conversion or reduction might take place upon a defendant’s petition, on the court’s own initiative, or by agreement with the prosecution. It’s known as the alternative misdemeanor sentence (AMS)

The procedures, timing, and requirements involved in obtaining a reduced sentence may vary depending on the statutory authority that applies. Please note that defendants with certain prior felony convictions don’t qualify for an AMS.

Enhanced Felony Sentences

On the other end of the spectrum, certain offenses in Indiana can have enhanced penalties, especially those involving specific aggravating factors such as those listed below. Enhanced felony sentences are implemented in two different ways:

Fixed Terms

Judges may sometimes be obligated to impose additional fixed incarceration terms onto an offender’s sentence. For example, the Indiana habitual offender law imposes an additional fixed term ranging between 2 and 20 years for offenders facing their third or subsequent felony conviction.

The specific sentence enhancement depends on when the crimes were committed and the felony classification for both past and current convictions. Similar add-on terms apply to those convicted of offenses involving a firearm, repeat sex offenses, and offenses committed in furtherance of terrorism or a gang.

Increased Felony Levels

A defendant can face increasing felony penalties, depending on the offense, for causing serious harm, targeting a “protected person”, or having prior related convictions. For example, the penalties for felony battery range from a Level 6 to a Level 1 felony.

Similar enhancements are applicable to other person offenses such as robbery, sexual misconduct, and kidnapping. Protected persons may include household and family members, endangered adults, children, and public safety officials, among others.

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

The sentencing guidelines in Indiana allow the court at the time of sentencing to use the facts surrounding either the offender or offense to enhance or decrease the period of incarceration, referred to as aggravating and mitigating factors.

Aggravating Factors

Are anything that may cause the period of incarceration to be longer than the advisory guidelines. Examples include:

  • The age of the victim (older than 65 or younger than 12)
  • The degree of harm caused was far greater than required to prove the offense
  • The offender’s delinquency or criminal record
  • The victim was in the care, control, or custody of the offender
  • The offense was violent and committed in the presence of a minor that wasn’t the victim

paradise criminal defense infographic

Mitigating Factors

These are extenuating circumstances that may cause the period of incarceration to be shorter than the advisory guidelines. Examples include:

  • The offender has or is willing to make restitution
  • The offender’s character and attitude indicate that reoffending is unlikely
  • The offense didn’t cause significant harm
  • The offense was committed as a result of strong provocation
  • The victim induced or aided on commission of the offense.

Facing Felony Charges in Paradise, IN? Contact Our Law Firm Today!

Understanding the different felony classifications and their associated penalties is essential for anybody facing criminal charges in Indiana. By familiarizing yourself with the possible consequences, you can make better decisions and navigate the legal system more effectively.

If you or a loved one is facing a felony charge in Paradise, Indiana, you need to get in touch with the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Verdelski Miller. Our legal team will help you fight your case and keep you informed each step of the way.

Our Paradise, IN criminal defense lawyers at Verdelski Miller have extensive knowledge of Indiana criminal law and are prepared to put this experience to work for you. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation where you can discuss your case with a knowledgeable lawyer, call us today at 812-842-0998.

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