Get Help From a Firearms Attorney Near You
It can be easy to lose track of regulations and requirements in a landscape that’s often shifting in response to public conversations about gun violence and whether the ownership and carrying of weapons can or should be restricted. If you have been charged with a gun-related crime, contact Indianapolis firearms lawyer Sean Hessler. He will review the evidence in your case and fight for your rights in court. Call today at (317) 886-8800.
Penalties and Jail Time for Gun Charges in Indiana
When you carry or possess a handgun or firearm in violation of Indiana gun laws, you may face serious penalties, and even a possible felony charge in some instances. If you’re convicted of a handgun or firearm offense, the possible consequences you face may include:
- A jail or prison sentence
- Significant fines
- Loss of your right to own a handgun or firearm
- A permanent criminal record that can affect your future employment possibilities or ability to rent a place to live
- Loss or denial of a professional license to work as a teacher, doctor, nurse, lawyer, or other licensed professional
- Denial of your application for an immigration visa, green card, or citizenship, and deportation to your home country if you are not a U.S. citizen
If you or a family member has been charged with a handgun or firearm offense, Hessler Law has experienced firearm lawyers that can help you fight the charge and protect your rights.
Common Types of Indiana Gun and Firearms Charges
Indiana has numerous and complicated statutes about the ownership, possession, carrying, sales, and use of firearms. Some of the most common types of charges we see related to handguns and firearms include:
Carrying or Possessing a Handgun Without a License
Indiana allows individuals to carry a handgun either openly or concealed on their person as long as they have a valid license. Indiana also allows guns to be carried in vehicles with a valid license. However, if you don’t have a license, you may be charged with a crime, except under some particular circumstances.
You are not required to have a license when:
- You carry the gun on your private property that you own, lease, rent, or legally control
- You carry the gun while legally present on someone else’s private property that they own, lease, rent, or legally control, and you have the property owner’s consent, are attending a gun show, gun club, or firearms expo, or are there to receive firearms related services such as repair or modification
- The handgun is in your vehicle and is not loaded, not readily accessible, and secured in a case
- You carry the gun while lawfully present in someone else’s vehicle when the gun is not loaded, not readily accessible, and secure in a case
- You carry the gun at a shooting range, while attending a firearms course, or while legally hunting
If these circumstances do not apply, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. However, if the offense was committed after July 1, 2014, and was committed on or near school property or on a school bus, the offense is a Level 5 felony punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. It’s also a Level 5 felony if you have a prior conviction within the preceding 15 years.
Possession of a Handgun By Person Convicted of Domestic Battery
When someone is convicted of domestic battery in Indiana, they lose their right to possess or carry a handgun in Indiana, unless they successfully petition to have that right restored. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. However, it’s a Level 5 felony punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 when committed on or near school grounds or on a school bus, or if you have a previous conviction related to unlawful possession or carrying of a handgun within the preceding 15 years.
Possession of a Handgun By A Serious Violent Felon
A person who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a serious violent felony offense in Indiana or a similar offense in another jurisdiction loses the right to possess a handgun or firearm in Indiana. Serious violent felonies are listed in Indiana Code Section 35-47-4-5, but include offenses such as murder, kidnapping, rape, robbery, battery, child molesting, drug dealing, and carjacking, among many others.
If you have a serious violent felony conviction and are suspected of knowingly or intentionally possess a firearm, you may be charged with a felony offense. The penalties vary depending on whether you committed the offense before or after July 1, 2014, when Indiana’s felony classes and penalties last changed.
- Before July 1, 2014 — The offense is a Class B felony punishable by 6 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- After July 1, 2014 — The offense is a Level 4 felony punishable by 2 to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Prohibited Sales or Transfer of a Handgun
Indiana prohibits the sale of handguns or assault weapons to certain classes of people. If you are suspected of selling, giving, or transferring such a weapon to any of the following, you may face a criminal charge:
- A minor under age 18, unless you are the minor’s parent or guardian
- Anyone convicted of a felony
- Any minor adjudicated as a delinquent for committing an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult
- Someone who abuses drugs
- Someone who abuses alcohol
- Someone who is mentally incompetent
If you are suspected of giving, selling, or transferring a handgun or assault weapon in violation of this law, you may be charged with a felony. The penalties upon conviction depend on whether the offense was committed before or after July 1, 2014, when new felony classes and penalties went into effect in Indiana.
- Before July 1, 2014 — The offense is a Class C felony and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of 2 to 8 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- After July 1, 2014 — The offense is a Level 5 felony and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Pointing a Firearm At Another Person
When you knowingly and intentionally point a firearm at someone — even as a joke — you could be charged with a crime in Indiana. Pointing a gun at another person is a misdemeanor if the gun was unloaded, or a felony if it was loaded at the time you pointed it. The penalties for a conviction vary depending on whether the offense was committed before or after July 1, 2014, when new criminal laws and penalties went into effect in Indiana.
- Before July 1, 2014 — Pointing an unloaded firearm is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Pointing a loaded firearm is a Class D felony punishable by 6 months to 3 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.
- After July 1, 2014 — Pointing an unloaded firearm is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Pointing a loaded firearm is a Level 6 felony punishable by 6 months to 2 ½ years of incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.