Each year around this time a new set of laws takes effect in Indiana. We want to take a minute to highlight some of these criminal law changes for you.

Commitment to the Department of Corrections:

Under the previous criminal code most executed sentences for felonies were to be served at the Indiana Department of Corrections (prison) while executed sentences for misdemeanor convictions were served at the county jail. Under the 2014 changes the legislature decided that sentences for most Level 6 felonies would also be served at the county jail. The latest change now allows a judge to sentence a defendant to prison on a level 6 felony if one of these three situations apply:

  1. A revocation of a community supervision because of a new offense
  2. Two or more consecutive Level 6 felonies with a release date greater than 365 days
  3. A Level 6 felony with an enhancement resulting in a release date greater than 365 days.

SEA 290:

Conviction for possession with intent to deliver based solely on basis of quantity of drugs. For most serious drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine and Schedule I-IV drugs, a conviction for possession with intent to deliver can be based solely on a defendant’s possession of at least 28 grams of the drug.

Good time credit for pretrial home detention:

A defendant may now earn good time credit if he is placed on home detention as a condition of pretrial release. Level P credit allows a defendant to earn 1 day of good time credit for every 4 days on home detention.

Specialized Driving Privileges

These new driving privileges cover a host of license suspensions and have allowed many people to regain driving privileges who previously could not. A few of the new changes are important.

  • First a person must file a petition for specialized driving privileges in each court that has suspended the person’s license.
  • Second, if the BMV suspended a person’s license they must file the petition in their county or residence, or, if they are no longer a resident of Indiana, in the county in which they last resided.
  • Lastly, a new $10.00 charge will be imposed. It is unclear when or how this fee will be collected.

If you have questions about these changes or any other aspect of criminal law please call Garrison Law Firm at 317.842.8283 or click here to contact us online.