Felonies in Indiana are categorized based on a scale from Class A to Class D, with the lower letters including the least serious felonies. Class D felonies include:
• Operating a vehicle while intoxicated
• Marijuana possession – 30 grams or more
• Theft – valued at $750 or more
• Auto theft
• Battery – involving an injury to a child under the age of 14
Maximum and Minimum Sentences
Indiana legislators approved new sentencing guidelines in 2014. All felonies still have sentencing ranges, but the range for a Class D felony is now from 6 months in jail to up to 3 years in prison.
That makes it possible for a Class D felony to be treated either as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime, prior criminal history and other factors. Punishment for all felonies in Indiana can include a fine of up to $10,000, though fines are not mandatory.
It is possible for a Class D felony to be enhanced if aggravating circumstances are present. That includes prior convictions. In Indiana, a person convicted
Of a Class D felony is a habitual offender if he or she has three prior, unrelated felony crimes.
However, if more than 10 years has passed since completion of a sentence for a prior felony conviction, it cannot be included in the count to determine a habitual offender. In that situation, the sentencing range increases to a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 6 years in prison.
Other enhancements are possible short of habitual offender status. For example, someone convicted of auto theft – a Class D felony – would be sentenced at the higher Class C level with the presence of a single, prior felony conviction.
While it is possible to enhance Class D penalties, if there are no aggravating circumstances, it is more likely for a Class D crime to be sentenced as a misdemeanor.
Indiana allows for Class D felonies to be reduced to a Class a misdemeanor by a judge during sentencing, under a plea
Agreement, or in an expungement process at least three years after the sentence for the crime is completed.
Sentences for Class a Misdemeanors
Class A misdemeanors are punishable for up to 1 year in jail or some other punishment such as probation or house detainment.
Loss of Rights and Benefits
As soon as you are convicted of a Class D felony you will lose the following rights in Indiana:
List of 7 items
• Hold state office
• Own or possess a firearm
• Serve on a grand jury
• Enlist in the armed service
• Some federal and state licenses required for healthcare and other professions
• Some drug convictions result in loss of federal and state aid including Food Stamps and low-cost housing
Rights That Are Automatically Restored
The right to vote is automatically restored after the completion of a felony sentence. The same is true with the right to serve on a jury. Other civil
rights lost due to a felony conviction are not automatically restored.
Employment and Housing with a Felony Record
Employers can ask about your criminal history and can also run background checks to determine if you have been in jail. While some state programs encourage
employers to hire convicted criminals, it will be difficult to get a job. The same is true of landlords who will see a felony conviction and decide to
take the risk that you will be arrested again.
Clearing Your Record
Indiana revised its law in 2013 making expungement available for people convicted of Class D felonies. The only exceptions are violent crimes and sexual offenses. Otherwise, the law requires an 8-year waiting period after the completion of a felony sentence. For more information about expunging your criminal record in Indiana, visit our Indiana Criminal Expungement Section.
However, in short, if you received a misdemeanor sentence for your Class D crime, the waiting period is 5 years. A person can only receive a single expungement, which restores all civil rights.
If your request is denied, you must wait 3 years before a second request. To restore firearms privileges, it is possible to make a request to the State Police after a 15-year waiting
period if an expungement is not granted.
The information contained above is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. It might be out of date, and/or not reflect all the factors influencing the outcome a specific client’s case. it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon in any way.
If you believe you might have a case, it is crucial you contact a qualified attorney immediately. Contact The Lockwood Legal Group for a free consultation today! You can call our office phone, cellular phone, or send us an email.