Explore the Penalties for Conversion Crimes in Indianapolis!

Ever borrowed something and held onto it a bit too long? In Indiana, that could be considered a crime! This article dives into the details of conversion crime in Indiana. A conversion crime is a lesser-known offense. It involves taking control of someone else’s property without intending to steal it permanently.

Indianapolis is a large city with many rentals and borrowed items. So, understanding conversion can help residents avoid accidentally committing this crime. 

Short Summary

  • Conversion vs. Theft: Conversion is taking someone’s property without permission, but intending to return it eventually. Theft involves keeping the stolen property permanently.
  • Examples of Conversion: Overstaying in a rented Airbnb, borrowing something without asking and not returning it.
  • Penalties: Depends on value of property, intent, and if used for a crime. Can range from misdemeanors (fines, jail time) to felonies (prison time).
  • Facing Charges: An attorney can help fight the charges or potentially get them removed from your record.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a clearer understanding of conversion penalties in Indianapolis and the importance of legal representation if facing such charges.

What is Conversion Crime in Indianapolis?

In Indiana, conversion occurs when someone intentionally takes control of another person’s belongings without permission and without the intention of permanently keeping them. This might sound like theft, but it’s different.  For conversion, the person usually intends to return the item eventually.  Imagine you rent a house on Airbnb for a month, but you don’t leave after that month is up. That could be conversion. 

Conversion vs. Theft: Are They The Same?

These two legal terms might sound alike, but they apply in different situations. If you’re accused of theft in Indiana, it’s important to understand the difference between theft and conversion. This can help you understand the charges against you.

In Indiana, theft means taking someone’s property without permission and meaning to keep it for yourself. You wouldn’t intend to give it back or pay the person back for what you took. Shoplifting is a good example of theft.

What sets Indiana’s theft and conversion laws apart?

Indiana’s theft laws might seem confusing, but they actually explain what counts as taking control of something. The law says “control” means things like taking, hiding, selling, or simply having someone else’s stuff.

Also, Indiana says taking something is “unauthorized” if you don’t have permission from the owner (or store) or if you take more than they allowed. Borrowing a bike without asking and then keeping it would be unauthorized control.

  • Taking someone’s stuff without permission
  • Taking something differently than the owner agreed
  • Hiding a claim on someone’s property
  • Lying to someone about their property or not fixing a lie
  • Threatening to damage someone’s property
  • Breaking a promise to return something
  • Sharing recordings or shows without permission

What are the Penalties for a Conversion Crime in Indianapolis?

In Indiana, taking someone’s car without permission and using it for a crime is a bigger offense than just taking something. It’s a felony. Also, if you rent a car and don’t return it way past the due date, that can be a felony too. Usually, taking something by mistake is a misdemeanor, which is less serious.

  • Taking something by mistake (misdemeanor): Up to $5,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail.
  • Stealing a car for a crime (felony): Up to $10,000 fine and up to 2.5 years in prison.
  • Not returning a rented car way too late (felony): Up to $10,000 fine and up to 6 years in prison.

Getting caught taking something that isn’t yours can hurt you even after jail time. It can leave a mark on your record, making it hard to find a good job. Employers may not trust you because of the theft. You might also have trouble going back to school or learning new skills for a different career.

What Factors Influence the Penalties for Conversion?

The seriousness of conversion charges in Indianapolis depends on a few things:

  • How much is the stuff worth? If it’s cheap, it’s probably a misdemeanor. Expensive stuff might be a felony.
  • What kind of stuff is it? Stealing a car is worse than taking a book. Using a stolen car for a crime is even worse!
  • What did the person who took it want to do with it? If they wanted to use it for a crime, the penalty is harsher.
  • Did anything else bad happen? Like if someone borrowed a car and never gave it back after many warnings, that could be a felony too.

What Should You Do if Facing Conversion Charges in Indianapolis?

Got a conversion charge in Indiana? It’s not easy to fight, but there are ways out depending on your situation. Here’s what can help:

  • Get a Lawyer: A good lawyer who knows criminal defense can be a big asset. They’ll explain your options and fight for you in court.
  • Know the Law: Understanding the difference between stealing and borrowing something (theft vs. conversion) can be helpful in your defense.
  • Didn’t Mean to Keep It: If you borrowed something and always planned to return it, you might be able to avoid a conversion charge.
  • Wipe It Clean: In some cases, you might be able to get the charge removed from your record entirely. But you’ll need a lawyer to help you ask the court.

Defend Yourself In Court Today!

If you are facing conversion crime charges in Indianapolis, legal representation is crucial to navigate the legal nuances and potentially get the charges reduced or even removed from your record. Seek legal help from an experienced criminal defense attorney now!

If you’re in trouble with the law, Wilson & Kinsman LLC can help. We know that criminal law can be confusing, and we’re here to help you understand your rights. Our experienced attorneys can fight for you in court and protect your interests. We also handle personal injury cases. We will craft a strategic defense. Schedule an initial consultation today!


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