Appeals court reverses vacation of habitual traffic violator status

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A trial court erred when it set aside a man’s 2002 guilty plea on a charge of operating a vehicle while a habitual traffic violator, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

The state appealed Marion Superior Judge Reuben Hill’s order that vacated Russell Oney’s guilty plea to the Class D felony charge on the grounds that the conviction had been reversed in post-conviction relief proceedings.

In State of Indiana v. Russell Oney 49A05-1204-CR-196, the appellate court agreed with the state’s argument that the court erred in vacating the plea.

Oney pleaded guilty to the HTV charge after he was stopped while driving during a 10-year suspension that had been the result of three drunken-driving convictions between 1986 and 1991. The suspension period set by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles began in February 1994.

In 2010, Oney was granted post-conviction relief from a 1989 drunken-driving conviction in Floyd County that expunged the offense from his record. He then asked the Marion County court to set aside his HTV conviction, which it did.

“The BMV’s determination in 1994 that Oney was an HTV was based on three predicate convictions and did not constitute manifest injustice. Nor did the BMV err, materially or procedurally, when it determined that Oney was an HTV in 1994. As such, when Oney operated a vehicle in 1999, despite his HTV status and resulting conviction, he was flaunting the law, even though one of the predicate convictions to his HTV status was later vacated,” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the unanimous panel.

“As such, we reverse and remand the trial court’s order granting post-conviction relief to Oney, vacating his HTV conviction, and allowing him to withdraw his guilty plea to that offense.”



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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.