Sentence Modification Bill Awaits Vote

January 30, 2015

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

When the Indiana Legislature revised the Indiana Criminal Code, it greatly expended a criminal defendant’s ability to seek a modification of his or her criminal sentence. However, given that the law went into effect on July 1, 2014, there has been some debate about whether this provision applies to offenses that were sentenced prior to that date. To resolve this debate, the Indiana Legislature is currently considering a bill that would definitively resolve the issue of who can petition for a modification of their sentence. Senate Bill 174 would make the new sentence modification law applicable to offenses committed before July 1, 2014. The bill is on its third reading in the Senate and is currently awaiting a vote.

As a matter of public policy, this bill incentivizes corrective and positive behavior by individuals who are currently incarcerated. The reality is that no one knows what the effect of any sentence will be at the time they are sentenced or how that individual may react to incarceration. This bill gives the trial court judge the discretion to better fashion the sentence, with the goal of rehabilitation, based on facts known at a time that is closer to when that person is due to be released to society. Giving courts that discretion and the proper tools and information makes sense for everyone involved. If you want this bill to pass the Senate, please contact your Senator, explain why this bill is important, and ask them to vote for it.

If you are currently serving a sentence, contact us today to see if a sentence modification is appropriate in your case. We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case. Act now and contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at (317) 857-0160.