ILNews

Mom’s conviction due to child’s school absences upheld

Jennifer Nelson
August 30, 2012
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The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that an Indianapolis mother was not unlawfully denied a right to a jury trial on her Class B misdemeanor failure to ensure school attendance charge.

Dana Young’s child, M.D. had nine unexcused absences and six or seven tardies during the 2010-2011 school year. School counselors and both schools M.D. attended during that year attempted to contact Young about the absences. Young complained to school officials they wanted her “to be a superwoman” and that M.D. missed school one day because they overslept and M.D. missed the bus.

She was charged in June 2011 with the Class B misdemeanor. On Aug. 4, 2011, she signed a written advisement of her rights, which included her right to a jury trial. She did not request one within 10 days of the start of her trial as required by Indiana Rule of Criminal Procedure 22, which governs misdemeanors. A bench trial was conducted, and she was convicted.

Young argued that since she was charged with a misdemeanor that arose from an offense in the juvenile code, Indiana Code 31-32-6-7(b) should apply instead of Criminal Rule 22.

“Young, however, provides no authority supporting her position that Criminal Rule 22 does not apply to criminal misdemeanor charges arising from offenses set forth in the juvenile code, and we find none. Because Young was charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense, we conclude that Criminal Rule 22 applies to the instant matter,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote in Dana Young v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1201-JM-18.

Young failed to request a jury trial after indicating she understood the time limitations set forth in the advisement of her rights, so she effectively waived her right to a jury trial, the judges held.   

 

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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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