In Indiana, a felony is any crime that carries a penalty of more than one year in prison. Felonies in Indiana are designated as Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-1.)
For less serious crimes (misdemeanors), the maximum sentence is up to one year in local or county jail.
For more information on misdemeanors in Indiana, see Indiana Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
A level 1 felony in Indiana is punishable by 20 to 40 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-4.5.) For example, aggravated rape (rape by deadly force or with the use of a weapon) is a level 1 felony.
For more information on the penalties for sex crimes in Indiana, see Indiana Sexual Battery Laws.
In Indiana, level 2 felonies are punishable by ten to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-5.) Voluntary manslaughter is a level 2 felony in Indiana.
In Indiana, level 3 felonies are punishable by three to 16 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-5.) Aggravated battery (causing serious injury to another) is a level 3 felony.
For more information on the penalties for battery, see Indiana Felony Battery Laws.
A conviction for a level 4 felony can result in two to 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-5.5.) Arson is generally a level 4 felony.
Level 5 felonies carry one to six years’ imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-6.) For example, involuntary manslaughter is a level 5 felony.
Level 6 felonies are “wobblers,” crimes that can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on how the crime is charged and, sometimes, how the judge decides to treat a conviction.
Level 6 felonies are punishable by at least six months in jail (a misdemeanor sentence) or as much as two and a half years in prison (a felony sentence), as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-2-7.) Vehicle theft is an example of a level 6 felony.
For more information on Indiana’s penalties for theft, see Indiana Petty Theft and Other Theft Laws.
Each level of felonies has an advisory sentence, or a guideline, that the court can (but is not required) to consider when imposing a sentence.
For example, for level 1 felonies, the advisory sentence is 30 years in prison.
(Ind. Code Ann. § § 35-50-2-1.3, 35-50-2-4.)
A statute of limitations is a time limit on a criminal prosecution. The statute of limitations begins to “run” when the crime is committed, and once the time limit is up, a prosecutor can no longer bring criminal charges. In Indiana, murder and level 1 felonies have no statute of limitations.
For more information, see Indiana Criminal Statute of Limitations.
If you are charged with a felony, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer in Indiana for help. All felony convictions carry serious consequences and the stigma of a criminal record can last long after a sentence is served or a fine is paid. Your best chance for a good outcome is to talk to an experienced attorney who can explain how your case is likely to be treated in court and how to protect your rights.