CHANGES TO OUR CRIMINAL SENTENCING LAWS

Recently the Indiana legislation has revised our criminal sentencing system to allow more harsher penalties for the worst offenders and place nonviolent criminals in more appropriate correction facilities, such as community corrections (home detention). The bill still needs to be signed by Gov. Mike Pence to take effect. Changes were also made to expand the levels of felony and the calculation of “good credit” time. It is anticipated that these revisions will save the state money by reducing the prison population.

Now minimum sentences would be required for the top 4 of 6 levels of felonies, with other sentencing enhancements for certain drug crimes and habitual criminals. Habitual criminals, for example, with at least two prior felonies, including one serious crime, would receive an additional 6 to 20 years added to their sentences. The new law would increase penalties for drug crimes involving such drugs as heroin, cocaine and meth-amphetamines, and for drug dealing offenses, if a child is present.

The law was changed to increase actual time served by an individual convicted as a felony to at least 75% of their sentence. However, an individual convicted of the lowest level of felonies, now called Level 6 felonies, still would be allowed to serve 50% of their sentence. It also limits the sentence reduction for educational degrees or classes to two years.

Contact a lawyer at our law firm for more information on the new changes to Indiana Criminal Sentencing Laws or other criminal related matters.

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