Where Do Federal Charges in Indiana Get Filed?

criminal defenseIf you are facing federal criminal charges in Indiana, one of the first questions you may have for a federal criminal defense attorney is where the case will be prosecuted. There are two United States District Courts in the State of Indiana. These two courts are divided into four regional divisions, and each has its own courthouse. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana serves the northern half of the state and has jurisdiction as far south as Montgomery County. The Southern District of Indiana serves the southern portion of the state, and extends as far north as Howard County. The Northern District court’s four divisions are Hammond, South Bend, Lafayette, and Fort Wayne. The Southern District court’s four divisions are Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Evansville, and New Albany.

Federal charges must be brought in a district court that has appropriate jurisdiction to hear the case. Once charges are formally filed, your case will typically be assigned to the division within the district that contains the county where the alleged criminal activity was most prevalent. If your federal case eventually proceeds to a jury trial, the jury pool (venire) will consist of citizens from the counties within the division that you were charged. This is true whether you were charged with illegal possession of firearms, drug crimes, or any other federal offense.

The county breakdown for each Indiana court division is as follows:

Northern District:

  1. Hammond — Lake and Porter.
  2. Lafayette — Benton, Carroll, Jasper, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren, White.
  3. South Bend — Cass, Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Laporte, Marshall, Miami, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke, Wabash.
  4. Fort Wayne — Adams, Allen, Blackford, Dekalb, Grant, Huntington, Jay, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, Whitley.

Southern District:

  1. Indianapolis — Fountain, Montgomery, Clinton, Howard, Tipton, Madison, Delaware, Randolph, Boone, Hamilton, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Henry, Wayne, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby, Rush, Fayette, Union, Monroe, Brown, Bartholomew, Decatur, Franklin.
  2. Terre Haute — Vermillion, Parke, Putnam, Vigo, Clay, Owen, Sullivan, Greene, Knox.
  3. Evansville — Daviess, Martin, Gibson, Pike, Dubois, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer, Perry.
  4. New Albany — Lawrence, Jackson, Jennings, Ripley, Dearborn, Orange, Washington, Scott, Jefferson, Ohio, Switzerland, Crawford, Harrison, Floyd, Clark.

If you are facing federal criminal charges or believe that you may be the target of a federal investigation, then it is important to immediately consult with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. While many local criminal defense attorneys in Indianapolis have experience defending DUI charges, marijuana possession, and other common misdemeanors and felonies, federal crimes often demand a higher level of experience.

Hayes Ruemmele LLC has offices in both the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis) and the Northern District of Indiana (South Bend). For more information on Federal Courts in Indiana, or to schedule a consultation to discuss your federal case with one of our criminal defense attorneys, contact Hayes Ruemmele today.