Most everyone has had the unenviable experience of being pulled over. Whether it’s a speeding ticket, or a warning for expired plates, being pulled over is pretty unpleasant time. Fortunately, these encounters tend to be brief and somewhat painless. Sometimes, however, they are not. What started as a simple traffic stop may quickly escalate into something more. This blog provides a brief overview of your rights during a traffic stop. The Fourth Amendment protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” A seizure, for Fourth Amendment purposes, occurs whenever an officer restrains or terminates a person’s freedom of movement. This can occur through ...
October 3, 2019CD
The holidays of Christmas and New Year’s give most Americans a chance to have some time off work, relax, see family and friends and refresh and recharge to start the next year fresh. Sadly, these great times provide unique chances to run into legal troubles that spoil the time and carry over into the next year. Ask any policeman, fraud investigator, or attorney . . . .This blog provides court tips to avoid a normally avoidable “event” and legal trouble you may not have thought of but should! DUI and Public Intoxication. New Year’s Eve is a notorious time for getting ...
December 21, 2018CD
A common statement or question from litigants relates to obtaining attorney’s fees for the expenses for their attorney in general civil litigation and divorce and paternity cases. Most of America’s laws are based on English common law. Under common law, the prevailing (or winning) party was entitled to receive an award of fees from the loser. In our society, this would be a difficult rule to apply as some cases have multiple parties and/or legal issues and a party may “win” some and “lose” some legal issues. For this and many other reasons, America rejected this legal concept and each side ...
July 12, 2018CD
A great deal of criminal law turns on bedrock constitutional tenets set forth in the United States Constitution, in particular, the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Anytime police are searching your car or home, the Fourth Amendment applies in several ways. One of the misunderstood concepts is protective sweeps for officer safety, a topic again just addressed by the Indiana Court of Appeals. Obviously, at this time with police officers in some areas being targeted, it makes sense that in a stop of a car or search of a home, a police officer could look for weapons that might pose an ...
May 24, 2017Adam Hayes
Several years ago, the Indiana General Assembly passed a comprehensive civil protective order act. This legislation was aimed at addressing the problem of domestic violence within certain family units. Now, a version of this uniform act is adopted in virtually every state. There is a national depository where domestic protective orders are immediately placed online and available to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. However, there is growing concern that these are abused by certain litigants in domestic cases, particularly contested divorce and paternity matters. This blog post covers a recent decision decided with the Court of Appeals1 that protective orders ...
May 18, 2017Adam Hayes
The Implications of Scotus Riley V. California Today, more than 90% of American adults carry cell phones (which are really mini-computers) and, by now, most are likely aware that these devices contain a digital record of nearly every aspect of their lives, from the mundane to the intimate. Some may assume this is private, but, the judiciary has helped to preserve our digital privacy, namely the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Riley v. California that is still working its way into the law and requires a warrant for all cell phone searches after to arrest, absent an emergency like the phone might ...
March 23, 2017Adam Hayes
Maybe and Maybe Not! Criminal prosecution and defense, as with the rest of law and society, has become complex. Thus, even routine criminal cases should be pair an accused with an informed and skilled defense counsel. The Indiana Supreme Court’s recent case on Miranda warning in a field sobriety checkpoint reflects this need. Typically, during any police detainment of any duration and questioning, Miranda warnings apply. However, in State v. Brown, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled consistently with the United States Supreme Court. The Indiana Supreme Court held that where there was a brief (under 2 minutes) stop at a well-lit checkpoint, ...
March 9, 2017Adam Hayes
The mediation process is confidential, and a mediator can only report to the court whether the parties settle, providing the agreement or did not settle. The parties and litigants also cannot relay anything they learn in mediation during the litigation process. However, even with these limitations, a failed mediation is usually very helpful to the parties in moving forward in four ways. First, a party learns about the case and how it is viewed by the other side in weaknesses (and inferentially in strengths) through the process. This may provide insights to later settle or resolve some issues before court. Second, where ...
February 23, 2016Adam Hayes
Our society is one of the greatest in history because of our fair and impartial legal system. To ensure the proper balance between the citizenry and police officers, those suspected of crimes are not required to give incriminating statements and have the right to counsel. At the time a person is stopped by the police or arrested he or she should exercise these rights: remain silent and ask for an attorney. This does not mean to be rude or insolent, but is the way individual and police powers and freedoms are balanced in our society. There are certain common sense limits, however, ...
February 4, 2016Adam Hayes
The issue of and statistics about domestic violence have received significant state and national attention over the last several years. Actual or threatened domestic violence may result in criminal charges with the right to remain silent or a civil domestic protective order. A civil domestic protective order is issued to attempt to stop threats or risk of harm to the person who petitions for it. Such an order may be granted without a hearing or after a hearing is set and the alleged perpetrator is given notice to attend. When a civil protective order is issued without a hearing based on ...
November 19, 2015Adam Hayes