One key aspect of the American legal system is the prohibition against warrantless searches of your home. As you may know, police officers cannot search your home without first obtaining a search warrant. This embodies the English common law notion and societal view that your home is a special place—your castle—and should only be subject to search under a high legal standard. But what happens if a police officer does not first obtain a search warrant? Or searches the wrong house? The general rule is that any evidence of criminal activity obtained ...
You have been convicted and sentenced. You may have even filed a direct appeal and lost. You are not guilty, or the State did not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. So, you want to file a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief (“PCR”). The remedy of PCR is one of the most difficult criminal procedures to interpret and understand and has little chance of success if the rules and laws are not strictly followed. Errors in filing can result in waiver of this remedy. For this reason, you should have an attorney ...
On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, a decision1 was handed down by the Indiana Court of Appeals that is poised to dramatically increase the number of drug charges and convictions. This is alarming since the headlines of Indiana’s news stories continually recount the State’s “opioid crisis”. At the same time, statistics reflect county jails and Indiana’s prisons are “full” of inmates with drug convictions, at a significant burden to the taxpayer. This stands in contrast with compelling arguments and scientific evidence that other than stopping violence, drug issues are best dealt within the ...
August 6, 2018 / Custody Evaluation
In many, if not most contested paternity or divorce cases, the issues that led up to the breakdown in relationship are somewhat apparent and would not require a forensic psychologist evaluation. For instance, one parent may lose his job, and this creates untenable financial stressors on the other parent, or the parent who lost the job may slump into depression. Perhaps most common in marriage today is; marriage is not a necessity as it was a few decades ago—to survive—given social programs that have created safety nets that did not exist in ...
Jobs and relationships (significant others) are in a constant state of change in today’s digital world. However, in cases where two parents share custody or one has primary custody and the other parenting time from a divorce1 or paternity order, a relocation of any significant distance can create a potentially significant issue for parenting by the non-relocating parent. Where the custodial parent is the relocating parent, if challenged by the remaining parent, the relocating parent must ...
While children are resilient and “bounce back”, modifying physical custody from one parent to another parent is a major life factor that may impact the child’s fundamental sense of safety, security, and stability. For this reason, there are two common factual situations where custody modification does not make a strong legal case. The first is where the non-custodial parent’s life has improved, but this has had little impact on how the kids are doing in the custodial parent’s care. Remember, ...
Every litigant in Indiana administrative proceedings or trial courts has the ultimate right to appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Trial courts make many orders, but typically it is the last one deciding the issues that is the final order that is subject to appeal. Usually. However, life and law are complex and sometimes an appealed order is not final as to all of the issues or not a final order at all. A recent case, ...
In child custody proceedings, Indiana trial court judges award or modify custody by considering all1 of the evidence in order to determine a custody arrangement in the child’s best interests. There are several statutory considerations for the court to weigh, including the physical and mental health of the parents, as well as any other facts or circumstances that may factor into a child’s best interests as it relates to custody.2 For years, “soft” drug use, such as smoking marijuana, has been considered in awarding ...
Probation is often a tool used by trial courts and is normally within their discretion to order in most cases. It is obviously a desirous outcome for judges, the community, and defendant. Most of the time it keeps the defendant out of jail, at home and work, and the taxpayers from paying for criminal incarceration. However, violations of the terms of probation, such as drug use determined by a positive drug screen, may result in a violation of probation (VOP) being filed by ...
The keys to making your best case for obtaining what you want in a divorce trial by focusing on the obvious and basics—but what is rarely ever consciously considered by the parties before or at trial.