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
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 of a job or prevent employment. Many employers run criminal background checks and will not hire felons for a ...
November 21, 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
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
A key tool prosecutors and defense attorneys use to resolve criminal cases is a plea agreement. This is a contract of sorts between the two “parties”, the prosecutor and the defendant, but is not binding upon the court unless it is accepted. Plea agreements ensure the orderly and timely administration of justice by allowing most cases to resolve without a bench (judge) or jury trial (where allowed). For most defendants, the biggest reason for a plea is to obtain charges being dropped, a lesser sentence, or the risk and expense of a trial. However, a plea agreement is admission to a ...
March 31, 2017Adam Hayes
Each and every day children are “detained”, namely arrested, for juvenile delinquency. In essence, juvenile delinquency is the same as a criminal arrest, except the minor is not deemed to be a person with a criminal charge because they are under age. However, juvenile detentions are a significant legal matter and anecdotal evidence Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates demonstrates parents and their children poorly understand their rights and standard ways to respond to a juvenile delinquency detention. This blog explores the law and what juveniles should know. Generally, a juvenile delinquency detention is the same as the arrest for an adult ...
February 17, 2017Adam Hayes
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
In Indiana, there are levels of crimes from misdemeanors to felonies. Indiana recently updated its criminal code to include numbered levels for crimes versus the previous letters (ex. A felony). Misdemeanors, felonies and the different levels are divided by the severity of the crimes. For example, dealing in cocaine or narcotic drug can be charged as a Level 5 felony through a Level 2 felony, depending on the amount and circumstances1. A Level 6 felony carries a lesser sentence than a Level 1 felony. But, if you are charged with a felony, can it ever be reduced? Oftentimes, having a felony record ...
January 20, 2015CD
In Indiana, it is unlawful for a serious violent felon, whether convicted in Indiana or another state, to possess a firearm1. However, when applying for a concealed firearms permit, or to purchase a firearm, you may be denied for a myriad of other reasons. Indiana, like most states, are updating their criminal records to online systems, which provide for quicker and more thorough background checks, however, there may be occasions where old criminal records are updated incorrectly. In other cases, a conviction, or criminal charge may be so old, that one has forgotten about it, and innocently failed to disclose ...
March 11, 2014CD
In 2012 the Indiana Legislature adopted the Alternative Misdemeanor Sentencing Statute, which now provides that certain Class D felony convictions could be reduced to a Class A misdemeanor.1 To seek this relief from the trial court, you must meet the following criteria: Not be a sex or violent offender Your class D felony must not have included acts resulting in bodily injury to another person. Not have been convicted of perjury or official misconduct (under Indiana Code § 35-44-2-1 or § 35-44-1-2). Three (3) years must have elapsed since you completed your sentence and satisfied any other obligation imposed as a result of the ...
February 13, 2014CD