Get Aggressive Criminal Defense for Felony Charges

What are the classification of crimes in Elkhart, IN, and how important are they for someone facing criminal charges? The short answer is that the classification of crimes carries its own set of penalties. However, understanding this concept alone is not enough to effectively navigate the legal system of Indiana. Speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney is highly advised if you are someone facing criminal charges.

Wilson & Kinsman LLC is the criminal defense attorney you can fully rely on. We understand that when you learn a criminal case has been filed against you, you might not know where to start to defend yourself and exercise your rights. Our law firm will ensure your confidence in us will not be taken for granted. With integrity, professionalism, and honest legal service, you will not regret choosing us. Get an initial consultation today and fight for your rights!

Key Points:

  • The classification of crimes in Indiana determines specific penalties, with felonies categorized into six levels, each carrying its sentencing range and advisory sentence.
  • Felony convictions may result in fines of up to $10,000, and judges have the authority to impose these fines based on the severity of the offense.
  • Level 1 Felonies: Carry a sentence of 20 to 40 years, encompassing severe offenses like aggravated rape and drug dealing leading to death.
  • Level 2 Felonies: Subject to a 10 to 30-year prison term, covering crimes such as voluntary manslaughter and child sex trafficking.
  • Level 3 Felonies: Penalties range from 3 to 16 years for offenses like aggravated battery and fleeing from police resulting in death.
  • Level 4 Felonies: Potential imprisonment of 2 to 12 years for offenses like arson and illegal firearm possession.
  • Level 5 Felonies: Carry a possibility of one to six years in prison for offenses like involuntary manslaughter and robbery without injuries.
  • Level 6 Felonies: Come with a prison sentence ranging from six months to 2 ½ years for offenses like criminal stalking and vehicle theft.
  • Alternative Misdemeanor Sentences (AMS) for Level 6 Felonies: Judges may reduce or convert Level 6 felonies to a Class A misdemeanor under specific conditions, at their discretion or through agreements with the prosecutor.

Classification Of Crimes in Elkhart, IN

Safety is paramount in any community, and understanding major crime categories is crucial for residents and visitors. In Elkhart, Indiana, a comprehensive awareness of these crime categories empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their surroundings. In this post, we will dissect the major crime categories in Elkhart, providing valuable insights into the city’s safety landscape.

In Indiana, felonies are categorized into six levels, ranging from Level 1 as the most severe to Level 6 as the least severe. Each level comes with a designated sentencing range with an advisory sentence. Additionally, judges have the authority to levy fines amounting to $10,000 in cases of felony convictions.


Murder is deemed an unspecified felony with three potential sentencing options: a fixed term of 45-55 years in prison, life imprisonment without allowable parole, or the imposition of the death penalty.

Level 1 Felonies

Level 1 felonies carry a sentence of 20-40 years in prison, with the advisory sentence set at 30 years of imprisonment according to the law. Instances of Level 1 felonies encompass offenses such as aggravated rape involving the utilization of a deadly force or a drug dealing leading to death, weapon, and home invasion resulting in serious bodily injuries.

Level 2 Felonies

An individual found guilty of a felony under the classification level 2 is subject to a 10-30 years prison term, with an advisory sentence of 17 and a half years. Second-level felonies encompass offenses such as child sex trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, and voluntary manslaughter.

Level 3 Felonies

Level 3 felonies carry a penalty of 3-16 years imprisonment, with an advisory sentence of nine years. Instances of Level 3 felonies encompass offenses such as aggravated battery (resulting in serious injury towards another person), fleeing from police in a car or vehicle (leading to another person’s death), and child molestation.

Level 4 Felonies

Level 4 felonies come with a potential imprisonment term of 2 to 12 years, with an advisory sentence ranging from six years. Instances of Level 4 felonies encompass offenses such as arson and the illegal possession of firearms by a severe felony.

Level 5 Felonies

Level 5 felonies can have one to six years of imprisonment, with an advisory sentence of three years. Offenses classified as Level 5 felonies include involuntary manslaughter, robbery without injuries, and criminal recklessness involving a weapon.

Level 6 Felonies

Level 6 felonies come with a prison sentence ranging from six months to 2 ½ years, with an advisory sentence of one year. Examples of Level 6 felonies include criminal stalking, strangulation, and vehicle theft.

The law permits a judge to decrease or change a Level 6 felony-Class A misdemeanor under certain conditions. This reduction or conversion may occur at the court’s discretion, in response to a defendant’s petition, or through an agreement with the prosecutor. Termed as an alternative misdemeanor sentence (AMS), the requirements, procedure, and timing for getting this reduced sentence vary depending on the applicable statutory authority. Defendants with specific past felony convictions do not qualify for an AMS.

Enhanced Felony Sentences

Indiana enforces heightened penalties for specific repeated felony or felonies regarding gangs or firearms.

Additional fixed terms are mandated in specific situations, compelling court judges to impose another fixed incarceration period on the perpetrator’s sentence. The precise enhancement of the sentence depends on when the crimes happened and the crime classification for the present and past convictions. Comparable supplementary terms apply to defendants found guilty of repeated offenses involving a firearm, sex offenses, and offenses perpetrated to accomplish terrorism or gang.

Elevated felony levels may be assigned based on the crime, exposing a defendant to escalating crime punishment for having previous synonymous convictions, targeting a “protected person,” or resulting in serious harm. For instance, penalties for felony battery range from Level 6 to Level 1 felony. Similar enhancements apply to other offenses against individuals, such as robbery, kidnapping, and sexual misconduct. “Protected persons” include family and children, household members, public safety officials, and endangered adults among others.

Possible Court-Order Penalties for Felonies and Misdemeanors in Elkhart, IN

Penalties for felonies and misdemeanors in Elkhart, Indiana, or any jurisdiction, can vary based on several factors, including the specific nature of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and the circumstances surrounding the case. It’s crucial to note laws can change, so you should consult with a legal professional or refer to the latest local statutes for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


Individuals facing charges for a misdemeanor offense often receive probation as an alternative to incarceration. Probation entails a designated period during which defendants must adhere to all legal and court-mandated regulations and fulfill specified tasks before the probationary term concludes. 

The probation duration typically ranges from half a year to two years, contingent on the nature of the convictions. It necessitates regular visits to a probation office for meetings with an assigned probation officer responsible for overseeing the individual’s compliance and progress. Any breach of probation terms, such as missing appointments or failing drug tests, may lead to the individual being returned to jail and appearing before another judge for potential additional sentencing.

Perpetrators must: 

  • adhere to all legal statutes; 
  • comply with all directives issued by the court;
  • timely attendance at all probationary meetings;
  • sustain employment; 
  • clear all court and probationary fees; 
  • abstain from the consumption of drugs and alcohol;
  • undergo urine screening; and
  • maintain residence within the state as a stipulation.

Home Detention

Instead of incarceration, a judge might opt for home detention, commonly referred to as house arrest, for an offender. The house arrest initiative aims to deliver vigilant state oversight to individuals convicted of specific offenses in Indiana. Individuals under house arrest are prohibited from leaving their residence except for work, rehabilitation sessions, drug/alcohol education, court-mandated obligations, medical appointments, and other activities approved in advance. The duration of house arrest can vary from months to years, contingent on the individual’s criminal background and recent charges. The primary goal of home detention is to prevent the offender from engaging in further criminal activities.

Personal Safety

An electronic tracking device frequently employed for individuals under house arrest or specific probationary conditions is an ankle monitor, commonly known as an electronic monitoring bracelet. This device, affixed to the lower leg of an offender, is digitally crafted to utilize global position system (GPS) technology for monitoring the individual’s whereabouts. Its purpose is to guarantee that individuals subject to house arrest or other court-imposed limitations adhere to the terms of their confinement and stay within the prescribed legal limits.

GPS Electronic Monitoring Bracelet and IID

This is installed in the offender’s primary vehicle to deter drunk driving. The Ignition Interlock Device (IID), resembling the size of a cell phone, is integrated into the vehicle’s engine. It secures the ignition, barring the vehicle from starting until the offender breathes into the device, resembling a breathalyzer, and registers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below 0.04 percent. If the BAC exceeds 0.04 percent, the engine remains inactive. Typically reserved for repeat offenders, the IID aims to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol. Any recorded BAC over 0.04 percent is documented and transmitted to authorities, constituting a probation violation that may result in incarceration and additional penalties.

Random Drug Testing

Typically included as a component of probation, a considerable number of offenders are required to undergo unscheduled or regular drug screenings, chemical tests, or urine analyses. Failing any test, even by a minimal margin, constitutes a breach of probation or court-ordered conditions, exposing individuals to further criminal charges and convictions. Those found violating probation should seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney to avoid imprisonment and substantial fines.

Victim Impact Panels

In cases of driving under the influence, an individual facing charges may be mandated to participate in a specified quantity of victim impact panels. These are community initiatives where survivors or family members affected by injuries or fatalities resulting from drunk driving incidents share their challenges and losses. The goal is to enlighten individuals about the severe repercussions of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Alcohol or Drug Education

Offenders may encounter another potential consequence, which involves compulsory alcohol and drug education. These are educational sessions that offenders are obligated to attend and satisfactorily finish within a specified period. Attendees must be punctual for all sessions, fulfill assignments within the designated time frame, and successfully pass the course.

Community Service

As an alternative to incarceration, courts might designate community service. This option is typically extended as a concession to first-time offenders confronting significant misdemeanor charges or lower-level felony charges. The assigned community service is measured in hours, and individuals must fulfill the entire requirement before the conclusion of their probationary period. The specific number of community service hours varies, typically from 40 to 180 hours, contingent on the potential jail or prison time initially faced by the offender.

Get Effective Criminal Defense Now!

If you or someone you know is currently facing criminal charges, do not wait too long before seeking legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Remember that even the most intelligent person would find it difficult to defend themselves in court because the science of law is intrinsically complicated. If you need efficient assistance to establish your innocence, contact Wilson & Kinsman LLC now. Our law firm provides an honest and fair analysis of your situation and personalized legal care and assistance, including claiming damages from the injuries you sustained. With over 50 years of handling criminal cases, you will get the rightful legal service you deserve!

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