Indiana deputy prosecutors vigorously prosecute both serious and minor crimes.
It doesn’t matter if you are wrongly accused or simply made a mistake – the prosecutor will be focused on securing a conviction.
It is, therefore, the role of a skilled and proficient Indianapolis criminal defense attorney to analyze the evidence, evaluate the potential outcomes, and use every tool in his or her arsenal to advocate for you.
Indiana Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Clients Accused of Misdemeanors and Felonies
Your criminal defense lawyer is on your side, not the prosecutor.
By choosing the right defense attorney, you can present an intelligent defense, fight to maintain your innocence, adeptly negotiate with the prosecutor, or make cogent arguments about ethical or constitutional violations.
Eskew Law, LLC has provided clients located throughout Indiana with compassionate advice and guidance, creative and innovative defense strategies, and an unrivaled dedication to justice.
If you were arrested for a crime in
- or any local Indiana city
Eskew Law, LLC can assist you with fighting the charges.
To discuss your case with a reputable Indianapolis criminal lawyer, call Eskew Law, LLC at (317) 974-0177.
Overview of Indiana Criminal Law
The Indiana General Assembly is responsible for enacting all criminal laws for the state of Indiana in Title 35 of the Indiana Code.
Title 35 defines various offenses, differentiates between misdemeanors and felonies, recognizes certain defenses, enumerates aggravating factors and sentencing enhancement factors, and provides sentencing ranges for crimes.
In addition, the Indiana court system also plays an active role in interpreting the law. Judges are tasked with expounding on the law by further explaining the elements of an offense or when certain defenses are available.
In layman’s terms, a crime is an action that is forbidden by the law. Crimes in Indiana are divided into misdemeanors and felonies, and these groupings are further broken up into classes.
The potential sentencing range is dictated by whether the crime is a misdemeanor or felony and what class it falls under.
Indiana Misdemeanors Overview
Misdemeanors are less serious and often minor offenses that face up to one year in county jail. There are three classes of misdemeanors.
- Class A Misdemeanors: Up to one year in county jail and up to $5,000 in fines
- Class B Misdemeanors: Up to 180 days in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines
- Class C Misdemeanors: Up to 60 days in county jail and up to $500 in fines
Common misdemeanors include driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, public intoxication, and disorderly conduct.
Indiana Felonies Overview
Felonies are severe offenses that are often associated with serious physical, emotional, or financial injury to a complainant. Felonies face anywhere from six months to life in state prison or even the death penalty.
- Murder: 45 years to 65 years. The state may be able to try for life in state prison without parole or the death penalty and up to $10,000 in fines
- Level 1 Felony: 20 to 40 years in state prison with an advisory sentence of 30 years and up to $10,000 in fines
- Level 2 Felony: 10 to 30 years in state prison with an advisory sentence of 17.5 years and up to $10,000 in fines
- Level 3 Felony: 3 to 16 years in state prison with an advisory sentence of 9 years and up to $10,000 in fines
- Level 4 Felony: 2 to 12 years in state prison with an advisory sentence of 6 years and up to $10,000 in fines
- Level 5 Felony: 1 to 6 years in state prison with an advisory sentence of 3 years and up to $10,000 in fines
- Level 6 Felony: 6 months to 2.5 years in state prison with an advisory sentence of 1 year and up to $10,000 in fines
Indianapolis Felony Lawyers Working on a Variety of Crimes
Felony criminal charges are aggressively enforced and prosecuted at every stage of the process. A felony conviction will change a person’s life for years and decades to come.
Indianapolis felonies attorney Chris Eskew provides experienced representation based on the hundreds of cases he has taken to trial. At Eskew Law, LLC, we understand the impact a felony charge or conviction can have on your life, and we provide thorough preparation, personalized attention and a unique approach to each case based on the facts, the evidence and your individual situation.
Felony Criminal Defense Built Around You
It is this simple: if you live in Central Indiana and have been charged with a felony then you need a reliable criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis, IN. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, you need someone on your side who can work to get the charges or sentence reduced, protect you against over-aggressive prosecution, and work to minimize the long term damage a felony causes.
Felony cases demand experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel who understand how to negotiate with prosecutors, evaluate evidence, thoroughly prepare a case and argue effectively in front of a judge and jury. Indianapolis felonies lawyer Chris Eskew can put an extensive career of criminal defense behind your case.
Steps Involved in a Criminal Case in Indianapolis
TV and movies often romanticize and fast-track criminal cases. However, criminal cases can be complex, and even the more simple ones involve several steps. Here is a glance at the seven general steps involved in a criminal proceeding.
The criminal process usually starts with an arrest. Whether the arresting law enforcement officer had probable cause or a warrant for your arrest will be addressed later. If you are arrested, it is essential to remain silent and ask to contact a criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis immediately.
Typically, shortly after your arrest, you will have an arraignment hearing. Here, the judge will inform you of the formal charges you face, and you may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The court may also address the issue of bail and whether you may be released or held over in jail until your case is resolved.
In general, the discovery phase is the period between arrest and trial when the prosecutor must provide specific evidence to your attorney. During this time, your attorney will also investigate and assess the prosecution’s case to find out what evidence they have against you.
Pretrial Motions and Conferences
Before trial, there is often a lot that goes on behind the scenes. The prosecutor and defense counsel might have multiple pretrial conferences with the judge to advise and discuss the status of the case. Most cases will also have some degree of pretrial motion practice. For instance, your defense attorney might file motions to challenge the admissibility of certain evidence.
Despite what popular crime dramas depict, most criminal cases do not end up going to trial. Instead, the prosecutor evaluates the strength and weaknesses of the case and often offers you a plea agreement. Defense counsel usually negotiates with the prosecutor to get the best deal possible and then discusses the plea offer with you. If you accept the plea, the judge will sentence you accordingly and resolve the case. If not, the case proceeds to the next step.
If a plea agreement is not offered or is rejected, the criminal case will proceed to trial. Here, it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jury finds you not guilty, the case is over, and you are free to go home. However, if you are convicted, the case will proceed to the sentencing phase.
If you are found guilty by a jury of your peers, you will face sentencing. The maximum sentences, mandatory minimums, and sentencing ranges are all outlined in the Indiana Code.
However, judges oftentimes have leeway to impose other sentences. These include reduced county jail or state prison sentences. In addition, there are other penalties that do not involve incarceration.
- Probation: Each county has its own probation department that supervises adults and juveniles who are ordered to participate in probation. For example, Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis has a large probation department. Probation is supervision in lieu of incarceration. After you are sentenced, a probation officer will be assigned to you. You will be released but must adhere to conditions set forth by the judge and your probation officer. These conditions may include fines and fees, drug testing, home visits, maintaining employment, weekly meetings, drug or alcohol treatment, community service, staying away from the complainant, and counseling or therapy. If you successfully complete probation, your case will be closed. However, if you fail to meet all of the conditions, you may have jail or prison time hanging over your head.
- Alternative sentences: Judges, especially with misdemeanors, can get creative with sentences. These sentences can be similar to probation without the oversight of a probation officer. For example, you could be ordered to complete community service, pay a fine, or suffer administrative consequences such as suspension of your driver’s license for a DUI conviction.
- Community Corrections sentences: Some crimes allow for the possibility to serve your executed time in the county community corrections programs. These programs include work release and home detention. You are able to earn the same jail credit serving these sentences as you would in prison or in a jail.
Even if you are sentenced to incarceration, you may receive “good time credit.”
You may also be released early on parole. Parole is similar to probation in that you will be assigned to a parole officer for a certain number of months or years and will be required to follow certain conditions. If you are facing criminal prosecution, call and schedule a free, confidential consultation with our criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis, IN, today.
How Do You Know You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If the State charges you with a crime, you need an Indianapolis criminal defense attorney. Hiring reputable criminal lawyers in the Indianapolis area is your best chance to protect your rights and get the best outcome possible. Whether you were issued a misdemeanor summons or were arrested and detained, your freedom, reputation, and financial security are on the line. Contact our criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis, IN, today.
What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney
When you are facing serious penalties for a misdemeanor or felony offense in Indiana, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance from an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer who is competent in the courtroom, proficient at negotiation, and skilled at thinking outside the box.
After an arrest, your first thought may be to hire the first or cheapest Indianapolis law firm you find. This decision is too important to make emotionally.
You will want to consider several characteristics when looking for a criminal defense attorney. You need someone who is intelligent and able to analyze and evaluate your case thoroughly. But you also want to choose an attorney who devotes a good portion of their practice to criminal defense litigation. A tax attorney or general practitioner will not be your best choice when your freedom is on the line.
You need someone who is smart and able to fully analyze and evaluate cases.
You need someone like Chris Eskew, Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney.
With years of defending, not prosecuting, Indiana clients, Eskew Law, LLC understands that the most important part of representing someone accused of a crime is strategy and experience.
Thinking intelligently and with your goals always in mind allows our firm to make smart decisions that reflect your personal priorities.
Entrust Your Future in the Hands of a Skilled Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer
To schedule a consultation with Eskew Law, LLC, contact us today.
During your initial consultation, our experienced Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys will review your arrest, explain the law, discuss your options, and begin formulating a strategy to defend against the charges.
We take this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana.
To schedule an appointment, contact us today.
- NOLO: Indiana Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences
- NOLO: Indiana Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences
- Indiana General Assembly
Our criminal defense team also handles other types of cases, including: