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Criminal Charges in Indiana: Types & Consequences

On Behalf of | May 11, 2023 | Firm News

The potential consequences of criminal charges vary depending on the severity of the crime, the state it was committed in, and other factors. In Indianapolis, IN, criminal charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies; understanding the differences between them and the potential consequences can be critical in determining the best course of action.


Misdemeanors are relatively minor offenses and usually carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail or a fine. Examples of misdemeanors include petty theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and simple drug possession. In Indianapolis, IN, misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. In some cases, misdemeanors may also result in probation, community service, or drug and alcohol counseling.


Felonies are more serious crimes that can carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. Examples of felonies include murder, rape, robbery, and drug trafficking. In Indiana, felonies are punishable by up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In some cases, felonies may also result in probation, community service, or drug and alcohol counseling.

Sentencing Guidelines

Sentencing guidelines are used in Indiana to determine the appropriate sentence for a criminal offense. Sentencing guidelines take into account the severity of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and other factors. Sentencing guidelines are used to ensure that sentences are fair and consistent.

Collateral Consequences

In addition to the potential criminal penalties, criminal charges can also carry collateral consequences. Collateral consequences are the long-term effects of criminal charges that can impact a person’s life for years after the sentence has been served. Examples of collateral consequences include loss of voting rights, loss of employment opportunities, and difficulty obtaining housing.

Legal Representation

When facing criminal charges, it is important to seek legal representation from a qualified criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you understand the charges and the potential consequences and guide you through the legal process.

Harwell Legal Counsel can provide you with the legal representation you need. Call today to learn more about how we can help!