For the first time in more than 30 years, criminal law in Indiana will receive a huge overall on July 1, 2014. House Enrolled Act 1006 was passed by the General Assembly and completely restructures the Indiana Criminal Code. It is important to note these changes if you or a loved one are involved in the criminal justice system.
The first major change is that felonies in Indiana have been restructured. In our current system our felonies are classified as A, B, C, or D with D being the least serious and A being the most serious. Murder is a separate category and will remain as such. Beginning July 1, 2014 felonies will be classified as Level 1 -6 with 6 being the least serious and 1 being the most serious. Not all of the Class D Felonies transfer to Level 6 felonies. One example is under our current criminal code Theft starts as a Class D Felony. Beginning on July 1st, theft of less than $750 is now a Class A Misdemeanor.
The second major change is with the credit time an inmate will receive while incarcerated. For the most part, under the current system, an inmate earns 1 day credit for each day served. Beginning in July, only those convicted of Level 6 felonies or a Misdemeanor will receive 1 day credit for each day served. For those convicted of Level 5 felonies or higher, credit time begins as 1 day credit for each 3 days served. For example, under the current law, if an inmate is sentenced to 100 days incarceration they would serve 50 actual days. Starting in July, if a person is convicted of a Level 5 felony or higher and is sentenced to 100 days incarceration, they would have to serve approximately 75 actual days.
The changes are too numerous to capture on paper; however, the criminal code can be found in Indiana Code section 35 for further information. As you continue to learn about these changes, keep in mind that they only apply to crimes committed after June 30, 2014. Even if you are sentenced after June 30, 2014, if the crime was committed prior to that date, the old criminal code will apply.