Double Jeopardy is a term that most have heard of before, whether it be from personal experience, a book, or television show. But what is this concept of “double jeopardy” and how is it applied? In a nutshell, double jeopardy protects a person from being convicted of the same crime twice. Both the U.S. Constitution and the Indiana Constitution have clauses protecting against double jeopardy. While the definition of double jeopardy seems straight forward, its application is not so clear. The Indiana Court of Appeals recently discussed the inner workings of the double jeopardy clause in their recent decision of ...
July 3, 2019CD
The Indiana Civil Protection Order Act1 was enacted to protect victims of domestic or family violence and promote the prevention of future domestic and family violence2. The Act allows victims to file for an order of protection against members of their own household who have committed domestic or family violence. The Act also allows victims to file for an order of protection against individuals who have committed stalking or a sex offense against the victim. When a victim of domestic or family violence files for a Protective Order, the Court is required to have a hearing or allow a hearing,3 ...
June 20, 2019CD
The United States Supreme Court has long recognized the “fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.”1 This fundamental right to parent is why the Indiana Courts place the burden of proof on the Department of Child Services (“DCS”) when it comes to proving that a child is a child in need of services (“CHINS”). Specifically, our Indiana Supreme Court has found that DCS must prove three basic elements for a CHINS finding.2 Those elements are: (1) that the parent’s actions or inactions have seriously endangered the child; (2) that the child’s ...
June 17, 2019CD
“You have the right to remain silent” is a phrase most have heard, whether it be from a television show or personal experience. This phrase is from what is known as Miranda rights. Miranda rights are a centerpiece to the American legal system and arise out of the United States Constitution’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. But when exactly does an officer have to read an individual their Miranda rights? And what happens if an individual is not read their Miranda rights? The short and simple answer is that it depends. As is generally the case in law, there is ...
June 5, 2019CD
Protective Orders are powerful tools in the legal sphere. Protective Orders can be used to help ensure the safety of individuals in dangerous situations, such as victims of domestic violence. Additionally, Protective Orders can also be used to protect minor children from harmful situations or individuals, such as abusive or drug addicted parents. While Protective Orders are a powerful tool that can be used for good, they can also, by design, be used to wrongfully harm an individual who is not a threat to anyone. The Indiana Court of Appeals recently addressed this situation covered by this blog and overturned ...
May 30, 2019CD
The United States Constitution, as well as the Indiana Constitution, protect against “illegal searches and seizures.” This means that a law enforcement officer cannot simply search your person or home, or seize your belongings, unless certain requirements are met. In Indiana, seizures of personal property must be done in accordance with Ind. Code 34-24-1. In a nutshell, property cannot be seized unless it is an incident to an arrest, search, or administrative inspection. Property cannot be seized simply because it looks like a crime may have been committed or looks suspicious. Instead, as the Indiana Court of Appeals reiterated in ...
May 29, 2019CD
Many people in Indiana have a general idea of what it means to appeal a decision. The popularity of legal TV shows, true crime shows streamed to our laptops and tablets, and news stories about the reversal of criminal convictions based on DNA evidence or a new United States Supreme Court case all touch on the idea of an “appeal.” We’ve already broadly covered the basics of an appeal in our blog post “What Does It Mean to File an Appeal?” This blog post focuses on a more specific type of appeal – an interlocutory appeal. Read on below to ...
May 28, 2019CD
Unfortunately, domestic battery is a very real problem in today’s society. Many individuals find themselves in abusive relationships, whether that be a boyfriend or girlfriend all the way to husband or wife. These types of cases can be very complicated, as well as extremely emotional. If you find yourself in a violent or abusive relationship, reach out for help, as there are many services provided free of charge that will help. These types of relationships can leave lasting effects, as is exhibited by a recent Court of Appeals decision of Thevenot v. State,1 which is the focus of this blog ...
May 22, 2019CD
The United States Supreme Court has found that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions as to care, custody, and control of their children.1 This means that a State has no independent right to interfere in the parent-child relationship. Of course, this, like most other things in life, has its limits. A parent who abuses or neglects their child, for example, has no fundamental right to do so. Children in abusive or otherwise dangerous situations can be protected by the State. The State does this by claiming the child is a child in need of ...
May 17, 2019CD
The law is always evolving. Sometimes, the Indiana Court of Appeals and/or the Supreme Court of the State of Indiana issue opinions on cases that parties appeal, and the holdings in those cases create a new precedent for trial courts to follow. Other times, the Indiana General Assembly may draft legislation that their constituents ask for or that addresses an issue that has come about since the legislature last was in session. Fortunately, many counties in Indiana are implementing what is a growing trend by establishing what are generally called “problem-solving” courts. This blog post addresses what these courts do ...
May 16, 2019CD