Most Hoosiers know were a gun-friendly state. In fact, Indiana ranks among the highest for gun rights. For example, there are hundreds of thousands of residents who have a License to Carry a Handgun. With “carrying” there is significant misunderstanding of the Castle Doctrine and the right to Stand Your Ground with the right to draw your firearm. These limits are the topic of coverage in this blog. In Indiana, a person can stand his or her ground and not retreat if it is reasonable. This allows the use of force to protect person and property. However, the use of force ...
January 15, 2018CD
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
A topic that frequently arises in the course of criminal defense is pointing a firearm a criminal charge from doing so on one’s own property. Many litigants are surprised to learn that the curtilage and standing one’s ground under the castle doctrine does not automatically authorize pointing a firearm at someone who enters your property where your home is located. This is the topic of this blog post. Pointing a firearm at someone on your property is a first step toward the exercise of deadly force. The castle doctrine provides an affirmative defense (this means you can legally do what is ...
October 20, 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
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
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
Federal, state and local gun laws are sometimes driven by emotion following a high profile event in the news as well as policy. Understanding four key dynamics of the law will allow you to stay out of jail and be a respectful gun owner. First, firearms are by design, much like chain saws, gasoline, and baseball bats, inherently dangerous items. This means that there is significant danger to life and limb by improper use. However, because of the political “camps” that are often defined as “pro” or “anti” gun, negligence is more likely to be addressed in the criminal system versus ...
June 4, 2015Adam Hayes
As an attorney working in the firearms arena on a daily basis, I am learning new legal concepts, ideas and ways of looking at things everyday. At the same time, I also get the earful of urban myth. One of the more common is that Indiana is doing away with its lifetime License to Carry Handgun permit. And once you have it, it cannot ever be suspended or revoked. Both are untrue. In fact, just like a driver’s license, certain acts or omissions with a firearm may result in your license being suspended pending a hearing. One basis for a gun ...
January 29, 2014CD