In Indiana, misdemeanors are crimes that are punished by up to a year in jail. Misdemeanors in Indiana are designated as Class A, B, or C.
More serious crimes (felonies) are punishable by a term of one year or more in state prison. For more information on felonies in Indiana, see Indiana Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
A class A misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. For example, possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-3-2 (2019).)
Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Public intoxication is an example of a Class B misdemeanor. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-3-3 (2019).)
A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a Class C misdemeanor if it is the person’s first DUI offense and the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .08 but less than .15. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-50-3-4 (2019).)
Misdemeanors have fairly short statutes of limitations (time limits) during which the prosecutor must file criminal charges. Once the crime is committed, the statute of limitations begins to “run.” When the statute of limitations has expired, the crime can no longer be prosecuted. In Indiana, the typical limitation period for a misdemeanor is two years. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-41-4-2 (2019).)
A criminal conviction, even for a misdemeanor, can have a lasting effect on your life. If you are charged with a crime, no matter what the charges, you should talk to a local criminal defense attorney. An attorney can tell you how your case is likely to be treated in court, based on the law, the facts of your case, and the assigned judge and prosecutor. A good attorney will make the best arguments on your behalf so that you can obtain the most favorable outcome under the circumstances.