Indiana has a strong affirmative defense penal provision that allows Hoosiers to protect their life, home/curtilage and stop forcible felonies.1 It is a crime to pull a gun on someone and, if it goes further, to shoot them. However, an affirmative defense means even if the State (the prosecutor) meets all of the elements of the crimes associated with pulling a gun and even killing a person, you may be acquitted. The affirmative defense says, in essence, the killing is excused because it is justified. This blog covers the four key points that are generally necessary for a person to ...
May 23, 2019CD
A. The right to use force and deadly force in Indiana. Under Indiana’s use of force statute, a person is justified in using reasonable force against another person to protect the person or a third party from what the person believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force. Further, a person is justified in using deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if the person reasonably believes the use of this level of force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or in the commission of a forcible felony. This blog ...
November 29, 2017CD
Every year civil and criminal defense attorneys across the state and the citizens at large handle or read headlines about “gun blunders” that cause the once-law-abiding citizen to wind up charged with a criminal act. This blog identified the five most common gun myths to help you avoid them, minimize criminal risk and look inside of the defenses. Becoming the aggressor: In many cases, someone with a firearm may be authorized at a given moment in time to stand his or her ground and use deadly force and have an affirmative defense to what would be an otherwise criminal act. However, normally ...
October 30, 2017CD
The “Long” Wait for Response and Avoiding Becoming an Aggressor: Will You Remain Silent and Lawyer Up? Any incident where a firearm is pointed in self-defense to the exercise of deadly force is a dynamic event. Any civilian in this position is well advised to provide a request for assistance and identify themselves, but not to make statements without a lawyer. Such a traumatic event releases a chemical reaction in the brain that makes you unable to accurately recount facts at the time. Deadly force cases become very difficult for even the most skilled defense counsel when an intruder is on a ...
October 25, 2017CD
Other than a firearm and certain other obvious (stun guns) items, the Indiana criminal code does not provide a great deal of guidance on what is a deadly weapon for purposes of the exercise of deadly force. It is pretty obvious why this is the case as virtually any object, used in a skillful way, can cause serious bodily injury or death. By statute, a “deadly weapon”1 is something that is used, could ordinarily be used or is intended to be used that is readily capable of causing serious bodily injury (or death). I an important case decide earlier this year, ...
September 12, 2017CD
There are numerous legal debates about mistakes you can make carrying a handgun for personal protection. For instance, in a metropolitan community and dense urban area, an argument can be made that open carry and certain body movements in conjunction are intimidation or brandishing? Is leaving a carry gun at a restaurant or in a bathroom such that it makes a person subject to criminal charge (or civil liability)? These questions have one clear legal answer: it “depends”. That said, in numerous cases over the years we have observed one single factor that has eroded, damaged or criminalized what may have ...
July 12, 2017CD
On Monday, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided an important case relating to the gun community and criminal defense; it decided and what is deadly force by a “deadly weapon”. In Indiana, the affirmative defense of self-defense may be raised when a person uses deadly force in response to infliction of serious bodily injury from a “deadly weapon”, a forcible felony or to defend one’s home or curtilage. There is no definition of a “deadly weapon”. However, its use must be threatened or used in a way that could lead to serious bodily injury or death. In most self-defense cases, a ...
July 6, 2017CD
Nationally, and certainly within the state of Indiana, a great deal of public interest has been garnered with the passage of the castle doctrine and its companion doctrine, standing one’s ground, into law. However, every seasoned criminal defense attorney knows this defense is poorly understood across the board. Prosecutors, who serve the public, also understand this—although they often have very different views on the scope and meaning of these doctrines. Think you understand them? Think again. Here is the question: Are you willing to die—today--for your understanding, be sued tomorrow for all you have, or go to prison for the rest ...
June 21, 2017CD
Be Informed, Not the Criminal Defendant By any account, Indiana is unique in its identification with the right to keep and bear arms. For instance, hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers have a License to Carry Handgun. While the need for a license, and in some general sense understanding of the need for training on safe gun handling is widely accepted and understood, there are pervasive myths that attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon see routinely that cause gun owners to be criminally prosecuted. The first is pointing a firearm due to a sense of fear or to scare someone off. Generally, unless the ...
March 31, 2016Adam Hayes
Any legal area that has strong political and social positions, generally corresponds with substantial law-making. Gun purchase, possession and use is one such topic that is politically charged with “positions.” While most of the laws are on-line, there is a great amount of commentary about how the law should be applied and enforced. In the firearms arms arena, there are four key myths that appear to be a great confusion for a large number of gun owners. This blog addresses these. The first is a lawfully possessed firearm can be used to scare someone away by pointing it at the wrong-doer. ...
January 19, 2016Adam Hayes