Harshman Ponist attorneys have represented individuals charged with felony offenses ranging from murder to sex offenses to burglary to shoplifting, not only in Marion and surrounding counties (including Hamilton, Hancock, Boone, Johnson, and Hendricks), but across the state of Indiana, including in LaPorte, Monroe, Morgan, Vanderburgh, Howard, Tippecanoe, Daviess, and Wayne Counties. Our experience includes both jury trials and bench trials. In standing up for our clients to protect their rights, we know that sometimes a criminal defense attorney is the only friend the accused person has.

Levels of Felony Crimes

A felony is a more serious crime than a misdemeanor and can result in a sentence of more than one year. In Indiana, felonies are dividing into seven levels (Levels 1 through 6 with murder as its own level), based on the possible sentence.

  • Murder: 45-65 years (unless the prosecution seeks the death penalty or life without parole)
  • Level 1: 20-40 years
  • Level 2: 10-30 years
  • Level 3: 3-16 years
  • Level 4: 2-12 years
  • Level 5: 1-6 years
  • Level 6: 6 months – 2 ½ years
Suspended Sentences

Generally, sentences for crimes in Levels 3-6 can be suspended. For murder and crimes in Levels 1 and 2, only the years above the minimum can be suspended.

Sentence Enhancements and Habitual Offender

Defendants who are charged with a felony and who have two previous felony convictions may be charged with being an habitual offender, which, if the defendant is convicted, can result in additional years being added to the sentence for the third conviction (called a “sentence enhancement”). If the third conviction is for murder or a crime in Levels 1 through 4, the number of additional years added may be between 6 and 20. For crimes in Levels 5-6, the number of additional years is between 2 and 6.

In some circumstances, a sentence may be enhanced even if the defendant is not charged with being an habitual offender. For example, the sentence can be enhanced if a firearm was used in committing the crime.

Alternative Misdemeanor Sentencing

In Indiana, a Level 6 felony conviction can be converted to a misdemeanor conviction within three years if certain conditions are satisfied, including the agreement of the prosecutor. Because felony convictions carry additional consequences beyond the sentence, including the loss of certain rights, alternative misdemeanor sentencing can be a very significant result that, in appropriate situations, we seek for our clients.

Types of Felonies

We defend people who are charged with the following types of felony crimes:

  • Murder
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Reckless Homicide
  • Rape
  • Child Molestation
  • Drug Possession
  • Drug Dealing
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Serious violent felon
  • Forgery
  • Fraud