Indiana Alternative Misdemeanor Sentencing (AMS)
A felony conviction is serious and can drastically impact a person’s life, potentially limiting job opportunities or even affecting where someone can live. However, in some cases, a person may be able to have a Class D Felony or Level 6 Felony reduced to a misdemeanor through alternative misdemeanor sentencing, also known as AMS. Under Indiana law, a Class D Felony or Level 6 Felony may be reduced to a Class A Misdemeanor either at the time of sentencing or after a person has already been sentenced, depending on the facts of the case.
At the time of sentencing, under IC 35-38-1-1.5, Alternative Misdemeanor Sentencing, or AMS, allows the court to enter a conviction as a Level 6 Felony with the express condition that the conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor if certain conditions are met, including the consent of the prosecuting attorney. This section is generally used when there is an agreement between the parties at the time of sentencing as to AMS. However, if the defendant commits a new offense or violates a term of the agreement, the conviction will not be converted to a misdemeanor.
Alternatively, even without an agreement by the parties, under IC 35-50-2-7, a Class D Felony or Level 6 Felony can be entered as a Class A Misdemeanor at the time of sentencing by the court, on its own accord, or post-conviction, by filing a petition with the court requesting AMS.
Under IC 35-50-2-7, a sentencing court may enter a conviction as a misdemeanor on its own accord if the defendant satisfies certain conditions, unless the defendant has received Alternative Misdemeanor Sentencing within three years, or if the offense is one that does not qualify for Alternative Misdemeanor Sentencing.
Finally, if a person has already been convicted of a Class D Felony or Level 6 Felony and at least three years have passed since the person completed their sentence, they can petition the court to reduce the felony to a Class A Misdemeanor, if certain requirements are met.
Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyers
Whether you have recently been charged with a felony or have already been convicted, it’s important to understand your rights and how Alternative Misdemeanor Sentencing may benefit you. Contact Chambers Law Office today to discuss your case and to see if you might be eligible for this sentencing option for your current arrest or prior conviction.
Chambers Law Office represents clients in Indianapolis and throughout central Indiana, including in Hamilton County, Carmel City Court, Hancock County, Johnson County, Greenwood and Franklin City Courts and Hendricks County. Call to speak with a lawyer today!