Misdemeanor & Felony Traffic Offenses
Traffic-based misdemeanors make life more difficult for those who are charged with them — that’s doubly so for felonies. If you find yourself charged with a misdemeanor or felony after a traffic offense, if important you know exactly what you’re dealing with before you take action. Alvarez Law is here to give you the information and services you need to make the best of a bad situation.
How Do Misdemeanors Work in Indiana?
Your basic moving violations and speeding tickets are more often than not called infractions. These include, but are not limited to, littering, not wearing a seatbelt, and minor traffic violations. However, at a certain point of severity, those traffic offenses become misdemeanors. This often happens when there is a potential for or result of injury or destruction of a property involved with the offense.
In Indiana, misdemeanors are broken up into classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C Misdemeanors. Class A Misdemeanors are the more serious type. Each class of misdemeanors carries with it a maximum punishment.
- Class A Misdemeanors: Up to one year of jail time and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
- Class B Misdemeanors: Up to 180 days of jail time and/or up to $1,000 in fines.
- Class C Misdemeanors: Up to 60 days of jail time and/or up to $500 in fines.
How Do Felonies Work in Indiana?
Misdemeanors turn into felonies when the offense is deemed severe or in the case of prior convictions on your criminal record. Felonies are broken up into six levels rather than classes.
- Level 1 Felony: 20-40 years and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
- Level 2 Felony: 10-30 years and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
- Level 3 Felony: 3-16 years and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
- Level 4 Felony: 2-12 years and/or up to $10,00 in fines.
- Level 5 Felony: 1-6 years and/or up to $10,00 in fines.
- Level 6 Felony: 6 months-2.5 years and/or up to $10,00 in fines.
A felony charge may also result in the suspension of a license for up to 10 years. All of the felony levels have “advisory sentences,” which are essentially guidelines for courts to use to decide how long to make a sentence. Each level’s advisory sentence is around the halfway point between the range of minimum and maximum years in jail. For example, the advisory sentence for a Level 1 Felony is 30 years, which is the halfway point between the 20-year minimum and the 40-year maximum.
Sometimes a felony that starts off as one level can be brought down to a lower level with the proper help and court representation. Level 6 felonies may even be brought down to a misdemeanor. If you find yourself with a traffic offense case on your hands, be sure to work with an experienced and expert team of lawyers such as Alvarez Law to help ensure the best possible outcome for your situation.
What Traffic Offenses Are Considered Misdemeanors in Indiana?
Examples of traffic misdemeanors in Indiana include, but are not limited to:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): The first time someone is charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, it’s considered a Class A Misdemeanor.
- Reckless driving. This is considered to be a Class B Misdemeanor in Indiana. This is only if there was little to no injury caused to others or destruction of property. What falls under the category of “reckless driving” can be anything from driving too slow or fast, passing in a no-passing zone, or
Driving without a license. In Indiana, this charge is considered to be a Class C Misdemeanor.
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license. This is considered to be a Class A Misdemeanor if your license was suspended as the result of a previous misdemeanor or felony, or if this is the second conviction of driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
- Aggressive driving. There are many actions that may be considered aggressive driving, which decides which class of misdemeanor you are charged with. This could be anything from following another vehicle too closely to failing to obey a traffic light.
What Traffic Offenses Are Considered Felonies in Indiana?
As with misdemeanors, there are quite a few traffic offenses that may earn a felony designation. There are two major ways to make a traffic offense a felony: repeat offenses and causing an injury, death, or significant destruction of property. Here are a couple of examples of offenses that may otherwise be misdemeanors if it weren’t for the offense causing another party to be injured:
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license. If a person causes an injury while they are driving with a suspended or revoked license, it’s a Level 6 felony. If the driver is convicted of causing a death, the felony moves up to Level 5.
- Hitting and running. Depending on the severity of the accident, performing a “hit-and-run” could land you with a felony charge. This action is significantly more likely to receive a felony designation rather than a misdemeanor if another person was injured or killed in the accident.
It’s very important that in the event you are charged with a felony, you contact a criminal defense lawyer. A good legal team will sit down with you to discuss the details of your case to see if they can help you lessen the charge or level of the felony, bring it down to a misdemeanor, or remove it entirely.
What Can Alvarez Law Do for You?
Alvarez Law has taken the helm for countless cases for people just like you. We’re so confident in our ability to help you give the reprieve you need, that we offer a “no-win-no-fee” guarantee. Our team of experts serves both Indiana and Illinois from our many offices around the two states. There is a defense for every case, and yours is no different.
If you think that we might be a good fit for you and your legal needs, contact our team at Alvarez Law to take advantage of your free consultation.