– AMS (Alternative misdemeanor sentencing) allows what would otherwise be a low level felony to be converted to a misdemeanor.

– AMS is most often dressed at the time of sentencing.  However, if AMS is not brought up at the time of sentencing, AMS can still be requested at a later point in time.

AMS is generally ordered:

(1) at the front

– on the day of sentencing, the conviction will go on the defendant’s record as a misdemeanor

– if the defendant violates the sentence the conviction will (likely) stay a misdemeanor.

(2) at the back

– the conviction will begin as a felony but will change if the defendant successfully completes the sentence

– if the defendant violates the sentence the conviction will stay a felony

IC § 35-38-1-1.5 Converting Level 6 felony to Class A misdemeanor 

(a) A court may enter judgment of conviction as a Level 6 felony with the express provision that the conviction will be converted to a conviction as a Class A misdemeanor if the person fulfills certain conditions. A court may enter a judgment of conviction as a Level 6 felony with the express provision that the conviction will be converted to a conviction as a Class A misdemeanor only if the person pleads guilty to a Level 6 felony that qualifies for consideration as a Class A misdemeanor under IC 35-50-2-7, and the following conditions are met: 

(1) The prosecuting attorney consents. 

(2) The person agrees to the conditions set by the court.

(b) For a judgment of conviction to be entered under subsection (a), the court, the prosecuting attorney, and the person must all agree to the conditions set by the court under subsection (a).

(c) The court is not required to convert a judgment of conviction entered as a Level 6 felony to a Class A misdemeanor if, after a hearing, the court finds:

(1) the person has violated a condition set by the court under subsection (a); or

(2) the period that the conditions set by the court under subsection (a) are in effect expires before the person successfully completes each condition. 

However, the court may not convert a judgment of conviction entered as a Level 6 felony to a Class A misdemeanor if the person commits a new offense before the conditions set by the court under subsection (a) expire. 

(d) The court shall enter judgment of conviction as a Class A misdemeanor if the person fulfills the conditions set by the court under subsection (a). 

(e) The entry of a judgment of conviction under this section does not affect the application of any statute requiring the suspension of a person’s driving privileges. 

(f) This section may not be construed to diminish or alter the rights of a victim (as defined in IC 35-40-4-8) in a sentencing proceeding under this chapter. 

IC § 35-50-2-7 Class D felony; Level 6 felony; judgment of conviction entered as a misdemeanor

(a) A person who commits a Class D felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) shall be imprisoned for a fixed term of between six (6) months and three (3) years, with the advisory sentence being one and one-half (1 1/2 ) years. In addition, the person may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(b) A person who commits a Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) shall be imprisoned for a fixed term of between six (6) months and two and one-half (2 1/2 ) years, with the advisory sentence being one (1) year. In addition, the person may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(c) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), if a person has committed a Class D felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014), the court may enter judgment of conviction of a Class A misdemeanor and sentence accordingly. However, the court shall enter a judgment of conviction of a Class D felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) if:

(1) the court finds that:

(A) the person has committed a prior, unrelated felony for which judgment was entered as a conviction of a Class A misdemeanor;  and

(B) the prior felony was committed less than three (3) years before the second felony was committed;

(2) the offense is domestic battery as a Class D felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) under IC 35-42-2-1.3;  or

(3) the offense is possession of child pornography (IC 35-42-4-4(c)).

The court shall enter in the record, in detail, the reason for its action whenever it exercises the power to enter judgment of conviction of a Class A misdemeanor granted in this subsection.

(d) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), the sentencing court may convert a Class D felony conviction (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 6 felony conviction (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) to a Class A misdemeanor conviction if, after receiving a verified petition as described in subsection (e) and after conducting a hearing of which the prosecuting attorney has been notified, the court makes the following findings:

(1) The person is not a sex or violent offender (as defined in IC 11-8-8-5).

(2) The person was not convicted of a Class D felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) that resulted in bodily injury to another person.

(3) The person has not been convicted of perjury under IC 35-44.1-2-1 (or IC 35-44-2-1 before its repeal) or official misconduct under IC 35-44.1-1-1 (or IC 35-44-1-2 before its repeal).

(4) At least three (3) years have passed since the person:

(A) completed the person’s sentence;  and

(B) satisfied any other obligation imposed on the person as part of the sentence;

for the Class D or Level 6 felony.

(5) The person has not been convicted of a felony since the person:

(A) completed the person’s sentence;  and

(B) satisfied any other obligation imposed on the person as part of the sentence;

for the Class D or Level 6 felony.

(6) No criminal charges are pending against the person.

(e) A petition filed under subsection (d) or (f) must be verified and set forth:

(1) the crime the person has been convicted of;

(2) the date of the conviction;

(3) the date the person completed the person’s sentence;

(4) any obligations imposed on the person as part of the sentence;

(5) the date the obligations were satisfied;  and

(6) a verified statement that there are no criminal charges pending against the person.

(f) If a person whose Class D or Level 6 felony conviction has been converted to a Class A misdemeanor conviction under subsection (d) is convicted of a felony not later than five (5) years after the conversion under subsection (d), a prosecuting attorney may petition a court to convert the person’s Class A misdemeanor conviction back to a Class D felony conviction (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 6 felony conviction (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014).

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