If you have been charged with a misdemeanor you may have questions about what can happen with your criminal case. Every type of crime has a maximum sentence and fine that can be levied against a person. This doesn’t mean that your misdemeanor case will result in a fine or jail time, but it is good to know what the possibilities could be.
Indiana Code Section 35-50-3-2 provides that, “[a] person who commits a Class A misdemeanor shall be imprisoned for a fixed term of not more than one (1) year; in addition, he may be fined not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).”
Indiana Code Section 35-50-3-3 provides that, “[a] person who commits a Class B misdemeanor shall be imprisoned for a fixed term of not more than one hundred eighty (180) days; in addition, he may be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).”
Indiana Code Section 35-50-3-4 provides that, “[a] person who commits a Class C misdemeanor shall be imprisoned for a fixed term of not more than sixty (60) days; in addition, he may be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500).”
So you may be looking at those sentences above and thinking that jail time is automatic in your misdemeanor case. Indiana judges have a bit of discretion when it comes to sentencing. Indiana Code 35-50-3-1 provides that:
(a) The court may suspend any part of a sentence for a misdemeanor.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), whenever the court suspends in whole or in part a sentence for a Class A, Class B, or Class C misdemeanor, it may place the person on probation under IC 35-38-2 for a fixed period of not more than one (1) year, notwithstanding the maximum term of imprisonment for the misdemeanor set forth in sections 2 through 4 of this chapter. However, the combined term of imprisonment and probation for a misdemeanor may not exceed one (1) year.
(c) Whenever the court suspends a sentence for a misdemeanor, if the court finds that the use or abuse of alcohol, drugs, or harmful substances is a contributing factor or a material element of the offense, the court may place the person on probation under IC 35-38-2 for a fixed period of not more than two (2) years. However, a court may not place a person on probation for a period of more than twelve (12) months in the absence of a report that substantiates the need for a period of probation that is longer than twelve (12) months for the purpose of completing a course of substance abuse treatment. A probation user’s fee that exceeds fifty percent (50%) of the maximum probation user’s fee allowed under IC 35-38-2-1 may not be required beyond the first twelve (12) months of probation.
As you can see from the above mentioned statute, a court can suspend any part of a misdemeanor sentence and place the defendant on probation. While on probation you do have to be careful in your actions because if your probation is revoked that suspended sentence may not be suspended for much longer.
The Law Office of Jeffery M. Haupt is located in South Bend, Indiana and helps people handle family law issues such as divorce, parenting time, child support, paternity, child custody and criminal matters such as DUI/OWI, drug offenses, traffic offenses, etc. The information in this blog should only be used for educational purposes and not be construed as legal advice. Nothing in this blog creates an attorney-client relationship between me and any readers of this blog. No attorney-client relationship is created until you have a document from me saying so. DO NOT POST ABOUT CASE PARTICULARS IN THE COMMENT SECTION.