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Charged with a Level 6 Felony in Indiana?

Despite being the least serious felony, anyone convicted of a Level 6 felony in Indiana may still face serious consequences if convicted. Given this, it’s vital that any Hoosier charged with a felony offense fully understand what constitutes a Level 6 felony in Indiana, as well as the possible punishments. It’s also important to have some understanding of how a Level 6 felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor and how to have a felony conviction expunged in the future.  

While this article will provide some information on the topics listed above, it’s highly advisable that anyone charged with a Level 6 felony also speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Indiana. To ensure that both your rights and your future are protected to the greatest extent possible, contact the Indianapolis defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. As former deputy prosecutors, our attorneys have a strong understanding of the state handles Level 6 felony cases and the types of strategies they may use in court. To speak with an attorney today, call 317-751-7186 or schedule a free consultation using this online contact form.  

Looking for a Criminal Defense Attorney in Indiana? Call Keffer Hirschauer LLP Today.

What is a Level 6 Felony in Indiana? 

As of July 1, 2014, there are six felony levels in Indiana. Murder and Level 1 felonies are reserved for the most serious offenses, while level 6 felonies are reserved for the least serious criminal offenses. Some common examples of a level 6 felony in Indiana include:  

Potential Penalties

The Indiana sentencing guidelines, which can be found in Indiana Code chapter 35-50-2, state that the range punishment for a Level 6 felony in Indiana is between 6 months and 2.5 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. Furthermore, it states the advisory sentence for this felony level is 1 year in prison. Indiana Code 35-50-2-1.3 defines an advisory sentence as a guideline the court may use when determining a sentence. However, courts are not required to use the advisory sentence as a starting point except in limited scenarios, such as when sentencing someone for nonviolent offenses that arise out of a single episode of criminal conduct. This means that a trial court has significant discretion to impose a sentence anywhere within the range set by the relevant statute. 

Can a Level 6 Felony Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor? 

While those convicted of a felony offense typically face serious consequences, it’s important to understand that a Level 6 felony in Indiana can be reduced to a misdemeanor under some circumstances, namely the process of alternative misdemeanor sentencing. Through this process one may seek to convert their Level 6 felony conviction to that of a Class A misdemeanor, resulting in less harsh penalties and a lower conviction classification on their criminal record.  

In Indiana, there are two avenues that one may take to pursue alternative misdemeanor sentencing. The first is located in Indiana Code 35-50-2-7, which allows for a court, on its own initiative, to enter a judgment of conviction for a Level 6 felony as a Class A misdemeanor and to impose the misdemeanor sentence accordingly. In situations where the court does not choose to impose alternative misdemeanor sentencing, the defendant may file a verified petition with the court requesting alternative misdemeanor sentencing after being convicted of a Level 6 felony and sentenced. 

In the petition requesting alternative misdemeanor sentencing, the petitioner will need to provide a specific set of information, including the offense; the date of their conviction; the date they completed their sentence; additional conditions imposed as part of the sentence; the date they satisfied those convictions; and a verified statement that they have no current pending criminal charges. From there, the prosecutor will be notified of the petition and the court will set a hearing to consider the request. Ultimately, the court’s decision will be based on the petitioner’s current and past criminal record, the nature of the offense, as well as the time that has elapsed since they completed their sentence and any conditions imposed as part of the sentence.  

It’s important to note, however, that there are some limitations to the relief available under Indiana Code 35-50-2-7. First, this form of alternative misdemeanor sentencing is not available to those convicted of domestic battery or the possession of child pornography. Secondly, this relief is not available to a defendant who has already used alternative misdemeanor sentencing within the past three years.  

The second avenue that one may take in Indiana to have a Level 6 felony reduced to a misdemeanor is located in Indiana Code 35-38-1-1.5. Under this statutory provision, courts may enter a judgment of conviction for a Class A misdemeanor, while also entering a corresponding sentence for a Level 6 felony. To be eligible for this form of alternative misdemeanor sentencing the defendant must first plead guilty to a Level 6 felony that qualifies for consideration under the statute AND agree to the conditions set forth by the court. Furthermore, all parties – including the court, the prosecuting attorney, and the defendant – must consent to the alternative misdemeanor sentencing. If all eligibility requirements are satisfied and all parties consent, the court will enter a judgment of conviction for a Level 6 felony in Indiana and later convert that conviction to a misdemeanor once the defendant has met the conditions imposed at the time the agreement was made.  

While alternative misdemeanor sentencing under Indiana Code 35-38-1-1.5 may seem rather straightforward, it’s not always a sure thing. That’s why any offender seeking this form of relief should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Indiana who is up-to-date with the state of the law and understands the intricacies of which statue would apply best given your specific situation. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-857-0160. Our Indianapolis attorneys are ready to help you file an AMS petition and assist you in your efforts to reduce a felony sentence.  

Can a Level 6 Felony Be Expunged in Indiana? 

Yes, in most cases, a Level 6 felony can be expunged in Indiana. However, any offenders who are classified as a violent or sex offender are not eligible for expungement. In addition, offenders who have had at least two felony convictions involving the use of deadly weapons or a felony conviction involving bodily injury to another person are not eligible for expungement in Indiana. 

If eligible, past offenders may petition the court for expungement once eight or more years have passed since their conviction. During that period, they cannot have had any new criminal convictions or have any criminal charges currently pending against them. Furthermore, they must have paid all fines, fees, court costs, restitution orders and paid their expungement filing fee.  

In addition, requests for an Indiana expungement related to misdemeanors or Class D / Level 6 felonies that have been reduced to misdemeanors, must be granted by courts if the person satisfies the following factors:   

  • Five or more years have passed since the date of their conviction  
  • The person has had no conviction in the five years prior to requesting the expungement  
  • They have no criminal charges currently pending against them  
  • They have paid all fines, fees, court costs, and restitution orders  
  • They have paid the expungement filing fee  

If you currently have a Level 6 felony on your record and would like to pursue felony expungement in Indiana, Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help. We have an entire team dedicated to helping guide our clients through the Indiana expungement process in a precise, but timely manner. To speak with one of our Indiana expungement lawyers today, call 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.  

Need to Speak with an Attorney?

If you’ve been charged with a Level 6 felony in Indiana, it’s important to understand that the best possible outcome in criminal cases is secured when defendants hire an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney.  

When hiring a criminal defense attorney in Indiana, you’ll want someone who is invested in the work of securing the best results for you—whether that is dismissal, reduction of charges, or a not-guilty verdict. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we take a teamwork-based approach to criminal defense cases. This means that your Indiana defense attorney will have the resources to thoroughly investigate your case, consult with experts who could serve as witnesses, and see your case through to the best possible outcome.  

Furthermore, our criminal defense team is led by two former deputy prosecutors, Bradley Keffer and Tom Hirschauer III, who know both sides of the criminal justice system. They have a strong understanding of the local courts across the state of Indiana and have deep experience in negotiation as well as inside the courtroom.  

If you’re looking for a high-quality, dedicated criminal defense team who can protect both your rights and your future, contact the Indianapolis attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP today by calling 317-857-0160 or completing our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.   

Summary
Everything You Need to Know about a Level 6 Felony in Indiana
Article Name
Everything You Need to Know about a Level 6 Felony in Indiana
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This article discusses the basics of a Level 6 Felony in Indiana, including the types of offenses that are considered a Level 6 felony, potential penalties, alternative misdemeanor sentencing, and felony expungement in Indiana.
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Keffer Hirschauer LLP

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