New Indiana Law Allows Reduction of Class D Felonies

In a February Article, we wrote that a new felony reduction bill had passed in the Indiana House. The bill moved on to the Senate, and after some modifications it was signed into law by the Governor on March 15th.

As expected, the statute allows courts to reduce non-violent, non-sexual Class D Felony convictions to Class A Misdemeanors after three years so long as:
(1) the person has not been convicted of perjury or official misconduct;
(2) the person has not been convicted of a new felony; and
(3) no criminal charges are pending against the person.

The final version of the bill also provides additional protection for those who have had records sealed or been arrested without a conviction. It defines “Criminal History Providers” and limits what information they can release. It also imposes punishments on employers who ask whether individuals have had old conviction records sealed. (Read a more detailed summary here.)

The new statute will become effective in July of this year and could have a drastic impact on those with old convictions or arrests. So if you are in such a situation and want to know whether this law might help you, give us a call and the attorneys at Gordon A. Etzler & Associates, LLP will be happy to help!

  • Craig S. Alvey

    Hello my name is Craig S. Alvey. I am 52. I was arrested on July 21st 2006 for possession of cocaine Class D felony. I was sentenced and served jail time, work release, and home monitor to complete my sentence. On September 17th 2008 I completed my sentence. I have not been convicted of any other felony since 2006. This is the only trouble I have ever been involved with. I’m trusting the new law will allow me to eliminate this felony off my record. Please let me know your thoughts. I am from Elkhart Indiana and here is my cause number (20D06-0607-FD-00257) I was in superior court 6 before Judge David Bonfiglio. Before I found out of this new law I had written the Judge asking him to consider reducing my Felony. I sent the letter early this month. As I was looking at the potential of this being reduced I found you Web Page. Was very nice to see this and the timing was great. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you Craig S. Alvey

  • Craig S. Alvey

    Hello my name is Craig S. Alvey. I am 52. I was arrested on July 21st 2006 for possession of cocaine Class D felony. I was sentenced and served jail time, work release, and home monitor to complete my sentence. On September 17th 2008 I completed my sentence. I have not been convicted of any other felony since 2006. This is the only trouble I have ever been involved with. I’m trusting the new law will allow me to eliminate this felony off my record. Please let me know your thoughts. I am from Elkhart Indiana and here is my cause number (20D06-0607-FD-00257) I was in superior court 6 before Judge David Bonfiglio. Before I found out of this new law I had written the Judge asking him to consider reducing my Felony. I sent the letter early this month. As I was looking at the potential of this being reduced I found your Web Page. Was very nice to see this and the timing was great. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you Craig S. Alvey

    • http://www.etzlerlaw.com akc

      Dear Craig,

      I will be contacting you through my e-mail account shortly.

      –Anna K. Christodoulakis

    • bdahl

      Craig,
      I believe you may have already reduced it to a misdemeanor. However, you may qualify to have it expunged from your record entirely. However, I’ll need you to give me a call so we can discuss your options 219-531-7787

  • Ashley Goldwood

    I am curious is the new law only helpful if you only have a class D felony? I was convicted of 2 felonies, 1 class d and 1 class c in Oct of 2007. I served 4 months in county jail and was then released home to finish my sentence on house arrest for good behavior. I have since finished all of my probation and was even released early from it as well. I am less then a year from graduating from school as a medical assistant and if I was able to get these dropped it would be a significant help. I am desperate as to what to do at this time. I have not gotten in trouble since this time, not as much as a speeding ticket. I was 19 and made a stupid decision and now it is really affecting my ability to provide for my young children. Any help you can assist me with would be greatly appreciated. If it is needed information, my case was in Whitley County Superior Court. Thank you, Ashley Goldwood

  • Sam Holida

    In June of 2009 I was convicted of a class D felony, possession of paraphernalia. It was my second time within a five year span, hence the felony. In July, I wrote a request asking that the felony be reduced to a misdemeanor. I received a reply from the court, stating that I “must have consent of the State before the Court may consider a modification of the plea agreement”. I am unsure of what step to take next and am looking for some guidance. Thank you for any help.

    • http://www.etzlerlaw.com akc

      Dear Sam,

      You are a good candidate to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor. However, the Ethical Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys prohibit me from providing you advice on how to be your own attorney. The process of reducing your felony to a misdemeanor is different with every county and can be daunting for a non-attorney. I urge you to contact our office at (219)531-7787, I would be more than happy to speak with you.

      –Attorney Anna Christodoulakis

  • Ken Campbell

    Did this law some one provisions in it as to how far employers can pull court records? For I was convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery in 2001. I had a one year suspended sentence, fines, and counseling. I haven’t had any problems since this time. I was offered and accepted a new position is a small company. After I worked a week, they called me into HR and terminated me because they said they ran a background check going back 15 years, and found this misdemeanor, and that it was my obligation to report it to them. Research told me they could not go back more than 5 years, and that I was protected from having to disclose my criminal history.

    • bdahl

      Ken,
      If you live in Indiana, they can check your criminal background as far back as they would like. However, its very possible that we could get this record expunged from your record entirely. Please give me a call at 219-531-7787 so we can discuss in private.

  • carrie

    I have a question, should i get a lawyer for a d class felony for theft? It was some small things from my families home and i took it to the pawn shop. How much time do you think i might get if this is my first charge in indiana. Please email me or respond so that i may know what to do next!

  • syrena thompson

    Please contact me…I need help with getting d felonies off my record in Indiana from 2006.I look forward to hearing from you,Thanks

    • cab

      Syrena,

      While the law doesn’t provide for sealing until the conviction is eight (8) or more years old, the new law does provide for reduction(s) to misdemeanors in certain situations. Please give us a call for a free consultation with a licensed Indiana attorney to discuss your particular situation. (219) 531-7787.

      I look forward to your call.

      -Attorney Christopher Buckley

  • Patricia Morrison

    Hello, I was just recently served with a warrant for Class D Felony theft from an incident that happened in 2006. I had know knowledge of this AT ALL! I have been pulled over, and have lived in the same area since the time of the event and not once have I been contacted about this before until the police came to my house looking for someone with the same last name as mine ,which I had NO idea who this person was. I have been to court and was set a plea date and also a trial date. I just want to know if the case can even go on because if so, I can’t even remember all the events that took place in order to plead my case well…it happened 7 years ago…please advise…

    • cab

      Patty,

      What county did this allegedly occur in? I assume you have not hired a lawyer yet? Please feel free to give me a call for a FREE CONSULTATION. (219) 531-7787. You can also send me an email if that is more convenient.

      Thanks,

      -Attorney Christopher A. Buckley, Partner
      GORDON ETZLER & ASSOCIATES, LLP

      ***Comments or posts are not intended to provide legal advice, nor to establish an attorney-client relationship. Please contact our office to discuss obtaining legal representation.***

  • Mike

    I was arrested 15 years ago on a class d possession of stolen goods over $400.00. My nephew stole some wood and put it in my garage. The police told me if I did not agree to it they would take my son who was 3 months at he time. I did not have a lawyer. It was non-violent. Can anything be done about this?

  • Desiree

    Hello, I have a pending class D felony case in Hamilton county. I have THE HARDEST attorney to contact and he only makes contact with me when he is trying to convince me that I should take this bogus plea deal. However, the “alleged” evidence they have against me is circumstantial, at best. There is a TON of questions that about my case I have been asking, don’t seem to understand and can’t talk to him unless we’re in court…public defender…because there is a lot of variables that are involved in my case. My attorney himself has never dealt with a case like mine and he admittedly feels inadequate in trying to put together a defense for me.

    My question is, right now I am studying to get my real estate license. When I pass the state exam, which I truly believe I will, plan to immediately apply for my license. One of the questions asks about pending cases and convictions. I plan to answer honestly, however will the pending charges/court case show up on if any employer were to run a criminal background check? Are there any instances that are documented where an applicant with Class D felony charges pending trial could still obtain their license? Prior to this situation, I had no criminal history.

    • cab

      Desiree,

      Unfortunately it is not uncommon for lawyers to be difficult to make contact with. We all have to maintain an overwhelming number of cases just to make a living, and it can be quite stressful and stretch the lawyer quite thin. This is especially true of public defenders. I would advise that you keep trying, and try to be patient in contacting him. I cannot advise you on the strengths and weaknesses of your case because I do not represent you, and you are already represented.

      As to the records issue pertaining to your real estate license, I can only tell you to be honest. If it asks if there are pending matter(s), you had better answer honestly. Generally records aren’t made until a conviction is entered. The arrest may or may not come up on a background check, they are usually hit and miss.

      As long as your record remains to be clean, we would be happy to assist you in filing a petition to seal the record and/or reduce the D Felony to a misdemeanor once it has been (3) and (8) years, respectively, since you completed all of your court ordered obligations.

      I hope that helps,

      -Attorney Christopher A. Buckley, Partner
      GORDON ETZLER & ASSOCIATES, LLP

      ***Comments or posts are not intended to provide legal advice, nor to establish an attorney-client relationship. Please contact our office to discuss obtaining legal representation.***

  • Rachel

    Hello,
    In 1999, I was convicted of Theft a Class D felony and is my first and only offense. Since then, I’ve been leading a law abiding life and, in 2011, received my Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies. I recently had a job at a law firm but was let go because of my conviction. So, last year, I worked with an attorney and had my conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. I am stil having a tough time trying to find a job in the legal field. So my question is this: Can I have this misdemeanor sealed even though it was just reduced? Would the conviction being sealed impact my chances of obtaining employment with a law firm? Or should I go back to school for another career path? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • Chris Buckley

      Rachel,

      Even though your D Felony was reduced to a misdemeanor, you are still eligible to have the record sealed under the new Second Chance Act. Criminal record sealing differs slightly from “expungement” as previously known, however; the most notable difference is that criminal record sealing does not conceal the records from criminal justice agencies. That should not be a problem here, however, because you seek to conceal the records from private parties such as potential employers.

      Please give me a call for a FREE CONSULTATION when you get a chance and we can get started right away! (219) 531-7787.

      Regards,

      -Christopher A. Buckley, Partner
      GORDON ETZLER & ASSOCIATES, LLP

      ***This site is not intended to provide legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship. Please seek professional legal assistance by contacting a licensed attorney. This site, its articles, and all comments are intended solely for entertainment and educational purposes only.***

  • Jenn

    I have felony from 8 yrs in Vanderburgh county can this be changed to a misdemeanor

    • bdahl

      Jean,
      It is very possible to have it reduced to an A-Misdemeanor or have it expunged from your record entirely; however, I’ll need additional details to determine with certainty if you do qualify, please give me a call at (219) 531-7787 so we can discuss in private.

  • shane

    Im 22. I got a total of four years in on three d felonies one DUI The other two receiving stolen property i was 18 and in school wen sentenced i made mistakes. But its so hard to get a job now..and i fell i paid my debt to society. With this sentence i was givin

    • Chris Buckley

      Shane,

      Give me a call for a free consultation. I would be glad to discuss this in greater detail. (219) 531-7787.

      Thanks,

      Attorney Christopher Buckley, Partner
      GORDON ETZLER & ASSOCIATES, LLP

      ***This site is not intended to provide legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship. Please seek professional legal assistance by contacting a licensed attorney. This site, its articles, and all comments are intended solely for entertainment and educational purposes only.***

  • Alexis Wilson

    I have a friend who has a class D felony, and we just want to know the steps needed as far as what do we need, how to get an attorney, ect. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • bdahl

      Alexis, in order to obtain an expungement for criminal records you and or your friend should call our office at (219) 531-7787 so we can discuss the details of the conviction and determine if you’re qualified.

  • andrea

    I need some help, I got into trouble when I was 18 years old I was a single mother and had to plea to something I did not do out of fear of going to jail and loosing my child. I paid fines finished probation and created a good life for my child and myself by working in the medical billing field for the past 16 years. The felony never came up on my record until recently and has stopped me from obtaining a job. This happened over 20 years ago and I never have had as much as a speeding ticket since. How can I get this off my record so I can continue to work in the medical field?

    • andrea

      Also I was told when I signed the plea it would be dropped from a felony to a misdermenor and it was not. I just want this off my record im a good person and was forced into signing a document from a public defender as a child. I paid the price for someone else’s mistake and still continue to have to pay for it.

    • bdahl

      Andrea, based on what you’ve stated, it sounds like we should be able to help you but we will need additional details to make a proper determination, please give me a call at (219) 531-7787 so we can discuss your options for expungement.

  • Melissa

    Good afternoon, my husband was convicted of a class d felony for possesion of mariguana 22 years ago and has not been in trouble since. we would like to know what we would need to do to have it dropped or removed from his record? Thank you in advance for any information you could give!!

    • bdahl

      Melissa,
      Based on just the information you’ve provided, its sounds like your husband may be a good candidate to have his criminal record expunged. However, I will need to get more details to determine with certainty if he does. Please give me a call at (219) 531-7787 so we can discuss your options.

  • Mandy

    I just got charged for a class d felony for writing two bad checks for a total of $150.00. I got in a tight bind and needed the money to help pay my rent. They sent me a paper before I got charged saying I could pay it off for $240.00 but only gave me a week…I called twice and left VM but no one called me back…I live payday to payday and was trying to work out payments. But now I’m in a mess…scared of what is going to happen. I have never been in trouble before in my life.

    • mandy

      I need help on what I need to do….I can not afford a lawyer….what can I do?

  • marcus

    my wife is 32. she got charge with four d felony and a b misdemeanor and i talk to a lawyer and they said one of the d felony could be drop to a misdemeanor and she could get probation or some thing. the charges are possession of cocane,possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a syringe ,theft a d felony from martin, and false reporting or informing a b misdemeanor do the new law apliles to her and this is her first time with these charges. how much time she looking at. And i can’t pay for a lawyer, and she need help what should i do

  • Ric Miller

    I was convicted of a D felony in 2008 for Habitual Traffic Violation. I signed a plea for one year probation and a lifetime suspension on my driver’s license. Since then I haven’t received any new felonies. However I am on non-reporting probation for an A misdemeanor marijuana possession from August 2013. Would I be eligible to have my D felony dropped to a Misdemeanor? Or would I have to wait till I am off probation?