Misdemeanor Guide

Indiana Misdemeanor

Drug-related Misdemeanors
Indiana has a low tolerance for drug usage and misdemeanors follow accordingly. A Class B Misdemeanor will be given to a person for being around others using illegal drugs, even if he or she is not using illegal drugs him or herself. This charge increases to a Class D Felony if the illegal drugs are found in a home. Even if a person is not using them and others are, he or she will be charged with the felony if he or she owns or rents the home.

Fake ID Misdemeanors
Using a fake ID to buy alcohol at a liquor store or a bar will result in fines and probation. This happens even if a person is not trying to buy alcohol but has a fake ID in his or her possession. This crime is called False Statement of Age. A driver's license will then be suspended for up to one year.

Manufacturing fake IDs, even if over the age of twenty-one, or allowing a minor to use another's driver's license can result in a Class C Misdemeanor.

Indiana Misdemeanors
Offenses in Indiana are classified according to severity, as stated by Indiana misdemeanor laws. Infractions -- most traffic offenses and fake ID possession -- are consider to be less severe and are followed by misdemeanors -- crimes like underage consumption and public intoxication -- and felonies -- murder, rape, and some driving-while-intoxicated offenses.

Those charged with felonies or misdemeanors must appear at a designated hearing to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Criminal defense attorneys often advise their clients to plead "not guilty" even if the client is guilty. This kind of plea will allow the prosecutor, the attorney, and the client to create a defense. A plea of "not guilty" can always be changed at a later hearing.

Those accused must appear at all scheduled court dates as failure to appear at a specified court date in a criminal case will usually end in added charges along with the charge of misdemeanor or felony. Not appearing makes the odds for dismissal lessen.

Misdemeanor Expungement
An expungement can eliminate the arrest record or conviction record of someone with past charges. An expunged record means that the record essentially did not exist and a person is now free to claim in document form that no arrest or conviction was made. This can also mean the sealing of criminal records from the public where only the proper authorities have access.

It is important to consult a lawyer when looking to expunge a record. He or she will have experience in doing so and can help make the process easier. However those who have been sentence of a crime or who pled guilty in court are not eligible to expunge the crime. Expungement can help in obtaining professional licensing and job positions.

Forms must be filled out properly or else an expungement request will not be granted. The granting of an expungement depends on the kind of conviction -- felony or misdemeanor -- the kind of sentence received, and if a claim of factual innocence was made.

See also:
Indiana Felony External link (opens in new window)
Indiana Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Indiana Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)