“Paraphernalia” is a strange word, but one that most of us have heard at some point in our lives. But what exactly does it mean? And what are the legal consequences involved if it is criminal contraband? The term paraphernalia is used in many contexts and has varying legal consequences depending on circumstances, such as, whether you are in possession of paraphernalia or whether you manufacture paraphernalia. In the (penal) drug world, possession of paraphernalia in defined as possession of “an instrument, a device, or another object that the person intends to use for” (1) introducing drugs into one’s body; ...
November 6, 2018CD
Under Indiana law, you can be convicted of possession of illegal drugs (or other contraband such as a gun) found during the search of a passenger vehicle, even if you are merely the passenger. This concept is called constructive possession and is used to charge and convict both drivers and/or passengers when there is no way for the State to prove direct ownership or control over the drugs or who knew the illegal items were in the car. This is not a new legal concept. To balance innocence, in cases of constructive possession, the State is required to prove the existence ...
October 24, 2018CD
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 mental health system--not the penal system. Before this ...
August 9, 2018CD
Often throughout the divorce or breakup process, it is a complex untangling a web of comingled items-funds, property, businesses, sometimes even ideas. Child custody is one of the first issues addressed, and division of property follows shortly thereafter. But what about Fido-the faithful family dog? Who gets the family dog in a breakup? Under present law, dogs, and other pets are considered property1. While the family pet may be considered a loving and loyal member of the family, it is not seen as different from a couch or television under present law. There have been some recent moves away from family ...
March 10, 2015CD
In matters involving real property (i.e. land and immovable property on land), in general, boundaries and possession can be known through title. However, even with the proper boundaries and title defining a parcel of land, there can be disputes that arise between neighbors or landowners about who owns what, including not only land, but also structures on land. Take for example a patch of land which Neighbor A has turned into a garden. By law, the land that Neighbor A uses as a garden is actually past the boundary of Neighbor A’s property, and it technically on Neighbor B’s property. However, ...
December 18, 2014CD
What this Means for Spouses, Significant Others and Third Parties in the Household In most criminal felony cases, a standard term or condition of probation is the probationer not possess firearms. An area of great misunderstanding is where a probationer lives in a household with his or her spouse, significant other or third party and they have firearms. Probation, in lieu of incarceration, is by the “grace” of courts. A court cannot order a third party not have firearms in the house, so this burden falls on the probationer. This means the probationer and any other occupant of a home must agree ...
November 19, 2013CD
Transferring Multiple Guns Across State Lines As attorneys handling a wide array of firearms law case and legal issues, we receive a number of emails about gun questions posed in various forums across the United States. One recent question focused on interstate transportation of firearms. The question is “a fried of mine recently told me of a law that restricts the number of weapons a person may transport across state lines [under federal law].” A part of being a lawful citizen is understanding law is written in form and can be researched by referring to primary laws (official statutes, cases, and rules/regulations). ...
April 2, 2013CD