Several new criminal laws took effect in Indiana on July 1, 2019, and many others were amended to include additional penalty provisions. Because of the enhanced penalties, it has never been more important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are arrested. Among the new and amended laws are the following:
The operating while intoxicated (OWI – DUI) statute was amended making it a Level 6 felony to operate a vehicle while intoxicated if a person has a prior conviction within the preceding 7 years. Prior to July 1, 2019, the statute provided the prior conviction had to be within the preceding 5 years to elevate the offense to a felony. This act also increases the penalty for operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury from a Level 6 felony to a Level 5 felony, and makes the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident involving death or catastrophic injury a Level 4 felony.
A “revenge porn” law was added to provide that a person commits a Class A misdemeanor when they display or distribute an intimate image of another person without their consent.
A new criminal drug law was passed that makes possessing or dealing in a substance that is a “controlled substance analog” the same level of offense as possession of or dealing in the controlled substance of which the substance is an analog.
Indiana also has a new hate crime law, which makes it an aggravating circumstance if a crime was committed because of the characteristics of the victim, including race or religion. An aggravating circumstance can result in a harsher sentence.
If you have questions about Indiana's new laws, call Gibson Law Office. With offices in Lafayette, Bloomington, Anderson, and Fort Wayne, our criminal defense attorneys represent clients statewide.