No. So, you catch a charge. You may have been questioned by police and given an inconsistent statement or confessed. The police may have searched you or your vehicle and found drugs. What does this mean for your case? Is the evidence stacked against you or is there a way to turn your case around? The answer lies in whether the police violated your Fourth Amendment Right1 against illegal search and seizure or your Fifth Amendment Right to remain silent. This blog explores the rules the police must follow under the Constitution and ...
Searches of Your Home and Suppression of Illegally Obtained Evidence Every citizen is protected from unlawful searches and seizures of his or her person or property by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This strikes the balance between individual freedom and the needs of law enforcement to protect society as a whole. Where most of us encounter the Fourth Amendment is with a police traffic stop. About everyone has been pulled over for speeding and received a warning or ticket. This blog covers what ...
January 5, 2018 / Juvenile Delinquency
Yes. A juvenile delinquency investigation is effectively a criminal investigation. If your child has an inquiry made by the police, you need to know his or her rights to be a parent and the consequences of this type of case to minimize the impact of such an investigation and give your child the constitutional protections available to them. The serious nature of a delinquency investigation is the purpose of this blog post, as anecdotal evidence suggests this is grossly misunderstood by parents. You ...
The polygraph test has urban myth status among a large segment of society. A polygraph test is an important tool in every lawyer’s toolbox--including that of the criminal defense attorney. This blog post explores the myriad of uses and limits of a polygraph and similar tests in the legal system today, as well as those for the future. Will a polygraph test prove useful in your criminal matter (civil)? A common agreement among criminal defense lawyers is individuals should not make statements to police officers if ...
The “Long” Wait for Response and Avoiding Becoming an Aggressor: Will You Remain Silent and Lawyer Up? Any incident where a firearm is pointed in self-defense to the exercise of deadly force is a dynamic event. Any civilian in this position is well advised to provide a request for assistance and identify themselves, but not to make statements without a lawyer. Such a traumatic event releases a chemical reaction in the brain that makes you unable to accurately recount facts at the time. Deadly force cases become very difficult ...
What makes our society safe (police) and free (doing what you want) is the delicate balance of power created by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. For Hoosiers, there is also a balance of power created by Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. A topic not well understood but in the daily news is when the police act (or fail to act). For police and citizens there is no agreement in any given case, but do ...
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 ...
Suppression of evidence in a criminal case has always been a controversial topic and legal remedy. An example would be suppression of a firearm found on a felon after he or she is stopped and searched. It is illegal and a criminal act for a felon to possess a firearm under state and federal law, and standing alone, is criminal and should result in a conviction. The reason evidence is suppressed, such as this hypothetical firearm on a felon, is to ...
March 23, 2017 / Civil Law
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 ...
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 ...