June 2021


Those who are accused of a crime don’t need to wait until they’re charged to start speaking with an attorney. In fact, when possible, it’s a better idea to start as early as possible collecting evidence and working on a defense. In some cases, it may even be possible to avoid the charges completely by working with a lawyer ahead of time. There are a few things that lawyers may be able to do if they start working with a client before charges are filed.

Help With Police Interviews

It is likely that if someone has the possibility of being arrested and charged with a crime, there will be a point they are interviewed by the police. It is never a good idea for the accused to speak with the police without proper representation. It is too easy for them to say something that can be used against them, even if it seems innocent at the time. Instead, if someone believes they may be charged with a crime and are asked to speak with the police, they should hire a lawyer to help them.

Help Gather Evidence in Defense

Depending on the pending charges, it may be possible for the lawyer to start looking into their client’s defense. This could lead to evidence that could help the accused defend against the charges in the future and can protect any evidence that might be used in their defense. It is a good idea to speak with an attorney as early as possible to see if this is feasible for the case and if so, to start getting help with collecting any potential evidence.

Create a Defense Strategy

Defense strategies can often be created before charges are filed in case the accused is arrested and charged. The attorney will have a good idea of what their client is likely to be charged with, and they know how to defend against those charges. Before any charges are brought, the defense might create multiple defense strategies they can choose from once their client is charged and they know exactly what the charges will be.

Prevent Charges from Being Filed

It depends entirely on the charges and the evidence, but it may be possible for an attorney to help prevent charges from being filed. If the accused starts working with an attorney ahead of time and evidence is found that shows the accused couldn’t have committed the crime, such as an alibi, the prosecution may decide to drop the pending charges. This doesn’t happen in every case, but it is a possibility the attorney will look into for their client.

If you have been accused of a crime and believe charges are pending, it’s not too early to talk to an attorney and find out how they can help. In fact, contact them as early as possible could be beneficial and help protect you against the charges. Visit the website for now to learn more about what a criminal defense attorney can do or to contact an attorney for help with your situation.

You should never take any criminal charge lightly. A state or even local misdemeanor may result in a heavy fine, spending time in jail, and loss of your driving license as well. Indiana is usually considered to be quite a gun-friendly state. However, it will be a great mistake, if you assume that this state will not take any weapon/firearm charges very seriously.

You can find many different criminal statutes written on the books that regulate weapon distribution, possession, and use. Some of these offenses also carry felony penalties. Contacting a skilled, dedicated Evansville felony charge lawyer of Thomas Law will be very essential, in case police have arrested you or identified you as the perpetrator of a crime.

The following offenses are considered to be illegal in Indiana:

1.     Carrying any handgun without having a valid license

It is considered unlawful as per 35-47-2-1 of Indiana code, and if you carry a handgun in public without a valid license. There are however a few exceptions like if used only for transportation to any shooting range.

2.     Possessing a gun by any violent felon

Individuals as per the 35-47-4-5 of Indiana code will be classified as a crime for violent felons, as it is strictly prohibited to possess a firearm. Any person convicted of murder, rape, or any aggravated battery can be booked under this statute.

3.     Providing false information for obtaining a weapon

If you buy or even apply for any firearm in Indiana, then you need to provide a little information. As per the 35-47-2-17, you can also be charged if you deliberately provide any false info.

4.     Unauthorized possession of any school grounds

As per the 35-47-9-2, even possessing any firearm in an unauthorized manner is strictly prohibited on school grounds.

5.     Destroying identification marks

As per the 35-47-2-18, it will be considered a serious criminal offense if you intentionally remove any identification marks like a model, make, or a serial number of any handgun.

6.     Unlawful brandishing of any weapon

As per the 35-47-4-3, it is considered illegal if you point your gun at any person other than your self-defense or to defend another person or any property. If there is any valid cause for pointing your gun like if any burglar broke into your home, then you have got the right to defend yourself and your family.

However, unlawful brandishing of your weapon will always be charged for felony criminal offense. However, if you can show that your firearm at that time was not loaded then you can escape.

7.     Criminal recklessness

Often weapons and gun charges can also be brought under the criminal recklessness statute as per the 35-42-2-2. Criminal recklessness is defined as when you knowingly, intentionally, or just recklessly put other people at risk.

Indiana felony crimes

A felony is considered a crime in Indiana if any crime carries a punishment of more than 1 year in prison. In Indiana, most felonies will be designated as Level 1 to 6.

For any less serious crimes, the maximum sentence will be up to 1 year in any local jail. Let us know briefly about various actions that are considered criminal offenses.

1. Murder

Any murder in Indiana is considered an unclassified felony, which is punishable by death sentence or jail for 45 to 65 years. Also, the court may impose a fine maximum of up to $10,000.

2. Level 1 felony

In Indiana, typically a level 1 felony is punishable with 20 – 40 years of imprisonment and also a fine of $10,000 maximum. Aggravated rape is considered a level 1 felony. 

3. Level 2 felonies

Level 2 felonies in Indiana, are punishable by 10 to 30 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. In Indiana, voluntary manslaughter is considered a level 2 felony.

4. Level 3 felonies

In Indiana, level 3 felonies will be punishable by 3 to 16 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Causing serious injury to some other person is a typical example of any level 3 felony. 

5. Level 4 felonies

Punishment for any level 4 felony may result in 2 to 12 years of imprisonment and also a fine of a maximum of up to $10,000. Generally, arson is considered a level 4 felony.

6. Level 5 felonies

Any level 5 felonies may carry 1 to 6 years of imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000. As an example, involuntary manslaughter can be considered a level 5 felony.

7. Level 6 felonies

Such level 6 felonies will carry a sentence of 6 months to 2½ years of imprisonment and a maximum of up to $10,000 as fines. However, a court may reduce any level 6 felony into a class A type of misdemeanor under few circumstances.

However, a person may not qualify for any reduced sentence if they have received previously an alternative sentence for a misdemeanor or have been charged with certain other felony-level offenses during the past 3 years. A typical example of any Level 6 felony can be a vehicle theft.

8. Advisory sentences

There are advisory sentences for each felonies level, or a certain guideline, that any court can consider while imposing any sentence. As an example, for level 1 felonies, 30 years of imprisonment can be the advisory sentence.

9. Statutes of limitations

It is a time limit given for criminal prosecution. When the crime will be committed then the statute of limitations will begin to run, and as soon as the time limit will be up, a prosecutor will no longer bring any criminal charges.

Any murder or level 1 felony in Indiana has got no limitations, while almost all other felonies have a certain limited period of 5 years

Getting legal help

If you are ever charged with any of the above felonies, then you must contact a criminal defense lawyer for help. All kinds of felony convictions will carry serious consequences. Also, the stigma of having a criminal record may even last longer even after a sentence has been served or a necessary fine is paid.