Criminal Law

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Can I be Charged just for Driving with Marijuana in my System in Indiana?

Marijuana legalization has surged around the country, including in states surrounding Indiana.  Many people who utilize marijuana legally outside the state often have concerns about whether they could be charged with and convicted of an operating while intoxicated offense in Indiana based solely on the presence of marijuana (or its metabolites) in their blood.    Indiana law currently criminalizes operating a vehicle with a controlled substance listed in schedule I or schedule II or its…

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Considerations in Sentencing

There are many occasions over the course of criminal cases where the Judge gets to decide what the sentence will be. If someone loses a trial, then the judge can sentence someone to whatever they want within the range of sentences prescribed by statute. For example, if someone is convicted of a Level 5 Felony after a trial, they can be convicted of anything between 1 and 6 years, with an advisory sentence of 3…

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Understanding the Legal Concept of Hearsay: A Comprehensive Guide

Hearsay is a fundamental legal concept that plays a crucial role in the justice system. It refers to the introduction of out-of-court statements or declarations as evidence in court proceedings. The rationale behind the hearsay rule is to ensure the reliability and credibility of the evidence presented, promoting fair trials and justice. In this blog, we will delve into the nuances of hearsay, its definition, exceptions, and the impact it has on legal proceedings. Definition…

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Can the Prosecution use a Witness Statement at Trial if the Witness is NOT Present to Testify?

When a subpoenaed witness does not appear for trial, it puts the prosecution in a bind.  The defendant has the right to confront and cross examine all witnesses testifying against them.  When a witness does not appear for trial, or refuses to testify at trial, the prosecutor can be hard-pressed to get the witness’ out of court statements into evidence.  This blog will examine the two hurdles the State must overcome to use a witness’…

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Consecutive vs. Concurrent Criminal Sentencing

I.C. 35-50-1-2 When Defendants are sentenced in criminal cases often there are multiple counts as part of the same case and/or multiple cases being wrapped up all at once. Whether it be by plea agreement or post-conviction at trial, the issue of consecutive (one after the other) or concurrent (running together) sentencing is often raised and becomes important. According to IC 35-50-1-2, generally speaking, unless the parties are in agreement to the contrary as part of…

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What’s new in the Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedure?

Effective January 1, 2024, Indiana’s Rules of Criminal Procedure underwent a significant overhaul. The Indiana Supreme Court approved the new Rules of Criminal Procedure after a yearslong process of study, proposed rules, commentary, and deliberation by stakeholders in the criminal justice system. The new rules should be of great benefit to both criminal defendants and their attorneys, as they largely standardize practice in courts across the State of Indiana. In updating the Rules of Criminal…

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What is “Chain of Custody” and why is it Important?

Chain of Custody is a legal term of art that occasionally becomes an issue when dealing with the admissibility of evidence at trial.  Chain of custody is defined as the chronological documentation or paper trail that records the sequence of custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of evidence.  In order to admit fungible evidence, there typically must be evidence as to the item’s chain of custody to ensure the item is what it purports to…

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Should I Hire an Attorney before I’m Charged?

Many people call our office wondering if it’s a good idea to hire an Indianapolis criminal defense attorney before they are officially charged by the prosecutor’s office. They have a million questions about what could happen and what has already happened. The majority of those questions revolve around what a lawyer can provide during that stage of the process. This blog will address the questions here. First and foremost, having a lawyer onboard ahead of…

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