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Understanding Credit Time

Understanding Credit Time

In Indiana, credit time refers to reducing the length of a criminal sentence through various mechanisms such as good behavior, participation in rehabilitation programs, or other factors. In Indiana, specific rules regarding credit time are outlined under Indiana Code 35-50-6. Courts take great concern to appropriately and accurately apply any credit time a defendant may be afforded when carrying out formal sentencing. Here are some key points to understand how credit time works in criminal cases in Indiana:

  • Pre-sentence credit: When an individual is arrested and held in custody before their trial, the time spent in jail is typically credited towards their ultimate sentence. Pre-sentence credit time is governed by Indiana Code 35-38-3, which allows credit to be given for the time served in jail or custody before the sentencing hearing, provided specific criteria are met. This credit is known as pre-sentence credit for time served. It acknowledges that the individual has already served part of their sentence while awaiting trial.
  • Educational credits: To be eligible for educational credit time, an individual must participate in and successfully complete approved educational programs offered by the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) or other recognized educational institutions. These programs can include vocational training, adult basic education, high school equivalency programs, college courses, and other educational opportunities. The amount of educational credit time that can be earned varies depending on the specific program and the individual’s progress and achievement. The IDOC has established guidelines and policies to determine the eligibility and calculation of educational credit time. It’s important to note that educational credit time is not automatically granted, and individuals must meet specific criteria and demonstrate satisfactory participation and completion of the educational programs. The decision to grant educational credit time is made by the IDOC or the court, depending on the circumstances.
  • Good time credit: In Indiana, eligible individuals can earn good time credit for demonstrating good behavior, participating in rehabilitative programs, and complying with the rules and regulations of the correctional facility.
  • Calculation of Credit Time: The calculation of credit time can vary depending on the offense and the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, credit time is determined based on a percentage of the overall sentence. For example, an offender may receive one day of credit for every three days served, resulting in a 33.3% credit rate.
  • Limits and Restrictions: Indiana law imposes certain limits and restrictions on credit time. Serious violent offenses, do not generally qualify for credit time. Additionally, offenders sentenced to habitual offender enhancements or who have prior felony convictions may have their credit time reduced or eliminated.

It’s important to note that the application of credit time can vary depending on the specifics of each case, including the judge’s discretion and any plea agreements reached between the prosecution and defense. The decision to grant credit time is made on a case-by-case basis, and individuals may need to meet certain criteria or demonstrate satisfactory progress in order to be eligible.

If you have been charged with a crime and want to know more about credit time, contact McNeelyLaw today at 317-825-5110 to talk to an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.


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