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Is criminal conversion a type of theft crime in Indiana?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Criminal conversion is an offense closely related to theft. In the state of Indiana, theft and conversion may carry similar penalties but are distinct in the eyes of the law.

Understanding what constitutes criminal conversion and its implications is important for grasping the legal landscape if you are facing theft-related charges.

What is criminal conversion?

Indiana Code 35-43-4-3 defines criminal conversion as an act of knowingly or intentionally exerting control over someone else’s property without permission or legal authority. This act entails treating someone else’s property as if it were one’s own.

How is conversion different from theft?

While criminal conversion shares similarities with theft, there are distinct differences. Indiana Code 35-43-4-2 states that theft entails aiming to permanently deprive the rightful owner of their property. However, in criminal conversion, the intent may not necessarily be to permanently deprive the owner but rather to use or control the property without consent. The key distinction lies in the perpetrator’s intention regarding the property’s long-term possession.

What are the legal implications in Indiana?

In Indiana, criminal conversion can be a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the value of the property involved. Misdemeanor charges typically apply when the value is below a certain threshold, whereas felony charges apply for higher-value items or in cases involving aggravating circumstances.


Criminal conversion constitutes a significant aspect of theft-related crimes in Indiana. There is a distinction between criminal conversion and other forms of theft. There are also viable avenues of defense against a conversion charge. Understanding your options for combatting a conversion charge will help you navigate a confusing legal landscape.