If you have been arrested, you will be charged with an offense. These offenses are categorized based on the severity of the crime. Typically, charges are categorized by either misdemeanors or felonies.
A misdemeanor is typically considered a lesser crime with less harsh penalties than a felony. Generally speaking, a misdemeanor offense results in up to a year in jail, while a felony typically results in at least a year of incarceration.
Each state may classify its misdemeanors slightly differently. In Indiana, there are three levels, which we will discuss below.
Types of Misdemeanors in Indiana
There are generally three types of misdemeanors that you can be charged with in Indiana. The first is a Class A Misdemeanor.
- A Class A Misdemeanor can carry a maximum fine of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
- A Class B Misdemeanor typically carries a maximum time in jail of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $1,000.
- A Class C Misdemeanor will usually carry jail time of up to 60 days and up to a $500 fine.
Class A Misdemeanors in Indiana
Class A misdemeanors are considered the most serious and carry the most severe penalties.
Some of the most common examples of Class A misdemeanors are listed below;
- Domestic battery
- Battery with bodily injury
- Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (while also endangering a person or with a Blood Alcohol Content level of 0.15 or more)
- Check Fraud
- Dealing Marijuana
- Possession of Marijuana
Other examples may be Medicaid fraud, intimidation, check deception, and more.
Examples of Class B Misdemeanors
Some of the most common examples of Class B Misdemeanors are listed below. It is essential to understand that some Class B examples may also be considered Class A, with extenuating circumstances, so this list isn’t exclusive.
- Disorderly conduct
- Criminal recklessness
- Public intoxication
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the charges, Class B misdemeanors can result in Class A misdemeanors, Class C, or even felonies, depending on other characteristics of the charges, including if the person charged is a repeat offender, if the circumstances were especially severe and more.
Class C Misdemeanors in indiana
The following list does not include all of the Class C Misdemeanor examples. Some of the most common are;
- Operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license
- Operating a vehicle while intoxicated
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Indecent exposure
- Public nudity
Statute of Limitations on Misdemeanors
Each state will have a set statute of limitations on crimes. This refers to the amount of time since the crime occurred that charges can be pressed or cases can be pursued against the accused.
The statute of limitations on misdemeanor cases is typically two years after committing the crime. In most cases, the charges will incur directly after committing the crime. The state may choose to pursue charges after the fact if there is an ongoing investigation or if they were unaware of the wrongdoing immediately.
What Are Aggravating Circumstances
If aggravating circumstances present, a misdemeanor may carry a more severe punishment, be classified as a more severe category of misdemeanor, or become a felony.
Some aggravating circumstances are whether or not the accused has a history of the same offenses and when those occurred.
- If the person has a criminal history or a pattern of criminal behavior is present.
- If the person is less than 12 years of age or older than 65.
- If the victim of the offense was a vulnerable person, such as a person with a disability.
- If the accused violated a protective order in committing the alleged crime.
The above is a list of examples and is not meant to be an exclusive list.
Will I Go To Jail for a Misdemeanor?
There isn’t a black-and-white answer to this, as all charges can be comprised of other factors that may change the result. For example, if the accused has other misdemeanors on record or if there are aggravating circumstances, they may be looking at jail time immediately.
If the accused is facing their first misdemeanor charge without prior convictions or no aggravating circumstances, they may avoid jail time. It is common that following an initial arrest, those with their first misdemeanor without aggravating circumstances or a criminal history avoid jail time, but that is not clearly defined as each case is different.
Will a Misdemeanor Stay on My Record?
In many states, a misdemeanor will only remain on your record for several years and then drop off. In Indiana, however, this is typically not the case. Once you have a misdemeanor charge, it can remain on your record unless you can effectively expunge it.
Does this mean a misdemeanor from several years ago will still appear on a background check? It can, but it is determined by the type and extent of the criminal background check the person seeks. In some cases, if the charges are from a significant time ago, they may not show up.
A misdemeanor or other charges on your record can slow down or inhibit your chances of getting a loan, or housing, being accepted at the college of your choice, or interfering with your getting a job. It is essential to know whether or not the charges are present and seek expungement if you wish to have them removed and are eligible for expungement.
Criminal Defense Attorneys Working Tirelessly For You and Your Family
Don’t let a misdemeanor charge take over your life. Contact an experienced team of competent and driven attorneys to fight for you and for what is right.
Contact our offices at (317) 623-4546 today.