Criminal matters are generally thought of in two or three categories: Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Infractions.1 Generally, infractions are offenses that are punishable by a fine but not jail time, such as a speeding or parking ticket. Felonies and misdemeanors are labeled by numbers regarding the level of crime and this letter may indicate the level of punishment assigned to the crime. The most significant issue for a defendant is to wind up with a Felony conviction as this may cause loss ...
October 11, 2017 / Criminal Law
In Indiana, it a now clearly crime to send (disseminate) matter harmful to “minors”.1 In 2009, this statute was held unconstitutional because the age of consent to sexual activity was 16.2 The legal reasoning was if one can consent to sexual activity at 16, one can receive nude photos. In the recent Thaker case, Mr. Thaker sent an explicit photo of his genitals to a 16-year-old girl in Oregon. After learning about the photo, the FBI contacted the Indiana police ...
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 ...
As with all cases brought against an individual or family (civil or criminal), the State has the burden of proof. With respect to neglected children (“CHINS”) or children who commit acts that would be crimes (“Juvenile Delinquents”) if an adult, the Indiana Department of Child Services (“DCS”) acts for the State. In a recent case, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Child in Need of Services (“CHINS”) determination against a father. This case has three key holdings or points for ...
March 9, 2017 / Civil Law
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 ...
In today’s world, key evidence needed in criminal and civil proceedings exists in the digital world and may be a composite of pictures, texts, and third-party statements. A key recent ruling of the Indiana Court of Appeals makes clear the Rules of Evidence and authentication of such as true cannot be objectionable to thwart justice. This blog post covers some of the key points of that case and the care that everyone should exercise using social media. The key ...
Indiana is a very progressive state in firearms’ laws in many ways, including its “lifetime” license to carry a handgun. Once such is issued, it may be suspended or revoked for certain criminal activity. This blog addresses important reasons to appeal the denial of an application for a License to Carry a Handgun once made and denied by the Indiana State Police, who are diligent and careful in approval of the application. First, firearms law is very complex, and some of the questions on the Application are required to comport with ...
In Indiana a significant number of the adult population has a License to Carry a Handgun. Because of the ease of concealment, the rules and regulation to obtain a License are in many respects more restrictive than the right to purchase a firearm. There are four key mistakes that cause an Application for a License to be denied, with some ability for assistance by an attorney to remove the prohibiting factors. 1. The first is an applicant has ...
Four Things You Must Know About Asserting Your Right to Remain Silent in Any Civil or Regulatory Proceeding
October 5, 2016 / General Practice
Generally, everyone is aware that in any criminal questioning by police or prosecutors or criminal court proceedings, a person with any potential criminal exposure can assert his/her right to remain silent. However, this right is much broader, and to be a good citizen and be afforded constitutional rights, there are four things you must know about your right to remain silent. First, in any proceeding, such as a divorce, a person may assert his ...
August 30, 2016 / Supreme Court
Most of us do not operate our lives thinking about United States Supreme Court decisions. However, those decisions shape the world we live in and balance public policies against constitutional freedoms based on the issues of the times. There are three key SCOTUS cases that have been or were recently decided that impact each person who might read this blog in some way. Understanding these cases helps ensure the public that the branches government are represented by the people. The first ...