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Indiana Sentencing Laws

Law SignIn the state of Indiana, criminal offenses are defined by the Indiana General Assembly in the Indiana Code. Title 35, Criminal Law and Procedure, of the Indiana Code lists all possible crimes, as well as their sentences. Crimes are divided into misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses that are punishable by up to one year in county jail. Felonies are severe crimes that are punishable by up to life in state prison or even the death penalty. The Indiana Code enumerates the minimum, maximum, and advised sentences for each offense.

If you were arrested for either a felony or misdemeanor, you face serious restrictions on your liberty, as well as difficulty resuming your life and caring for your loved ones. It is important to understand the consequences of a criminal conviction, and the skilled Indianapolis criminal lawyers at Eskew Law LLC can advise you on your maximum potential sentence. In addition, we can assist you with fighting the charges by conducting an independent investigation, inspecting discovery for exculpatory evidence, and crafting a strong defense theory. To speak with us about your case, call Eskew Law LLC at (317) 974-0177 now.


Indiana misdemeanors have maximum potential penalties but no mandatory minimums. Incarceration is spent in county jail, such as the Marion County Jail, though punishment does not require incarceration. There are three classes of misdemeanors: Class A, B, and C.

  • Class A: Up to one year in county jail and up to $5,000 in fines
    Examples: Battery causing injury, theft, prostitution
  • Class B: Up to 180 days in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines
    Examples: Possession of smaller amounts of marijuana, public intoxication
  • Class C: Up to 60 days in county jail and up to $500 in fines
    Examples: Using a fake ID to obtain alcohol, first-offender OWI with a BAC between .08 and .15


In 2014, the Indiana Genera Assembly revised the criminal sentencing guidelines. Previously, felonies were grouped into Classes A-D and murder. Now, felonies are grouped into Levels 1-6 and murder. Felonies are associated with minimum, advised, and maximum sentences. All sentences of incarceration are served in state prison.

  • Murder: Minimum of 45 years, advised 55 years, maximum of 65 years*
    *Note: In some cases, the prosecutor may request the death penalty.
  • Level 1: Minimum of 20 years, advised 30 years, maximum of 40 years
    Examples: Sexual misconduct with a minor involving use of force or threat of force (sexual intercourse), residential burglary involving serious bodily injury
  • Level 2: Minimum of 10 years, advised 17.5 years, maximum of 30 years
    Examples: Robbery involving serious bodily injury, dealing over 10 grams of a Schedule I-III controlled substance
  • Level 3: Minimum of 3 years, advised 9 years, maximum of 16 years
    Examples: Arson involving bodily injury, possession of more than 28 grams of methamphetamine
  • Level 4: Minimum of 2 years, advised 6 years, maximum of 12 years
    Examples: Dealing cocaine in an amount between 1 and 5 grams, sexual misconduct with a minor if the Defendant is over 21 years old
  • Level 5: Minimum of 1 year, advised 3 years, maximum of 6 years
    Examples: Child solicitation involving a computer and the Defendant travels to meet the minor, theft of an item valued more than $50,000
  • Level 6: Minimum of .5 years, advised 1 year, maximum of 2.5 years
    Examples: Domestic battery in the presence of a child, child seduction

Seek Counsel from a Gifted Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you were arrested for a misdemeanor or felony in Indiana, Eskew Law LLC can advise you on what to expect with your case and how to defend yourself against the charges. We take this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. To schedule your consultation, call our Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys at (317) 974-0177.