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Habitual traffic violator’s conviction upheld

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Inaction by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to update a man’s driving record to reflect his lifetime suspended license is not enough to nullify a statutory requirement that his lifetime suspension be imposed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

Joshua McCaine Pillow argued that his conviction for Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after driving privileges had been forfeited for life should be overturned because neither his BMV driving record nor a 2010 judgment convicting him of Class D felony driving as a habitual traffic offender indicated his driving privileges were forfeited for life.

Pillow pleaded guilty in 2010 to Class D felony operating a motor vehicle while suspended as a habitual traffic violator; the agreement provided he would receive a lifetime suspension of driving privileges. He was pulled over in 2011 for driving with his headlights off and arrested for driving as a habitual traffic violator. His conviction on the charge led to a six-year sentence.

Indiana Code 9-30-10-17 says that a person who operates a motor vehicle after his or her driving privileges are forfeited for life under I.C. 9-30-10-16 commits a Class C felony. Pillow’s 2010 conviction falls under Section 16 and says that one who is convicted under that statute “forfeits the privilege of operating a motor vehicle for life.”

“The State was not obliged in the case before us to prove Pillow knew of his lifetime forfeiture. Knowledge of a lifetime forfeiture is not an element of Indiana Code § 9-30-10-17, so proof of knowledge is not necessary to sustain a conviction,” Judge Melissa May wrote in Joshua McCaine Pillow v. State of Indiana, 71A04-1206-CR-325.

The judges also held that his recent conviction wasn’t improper because at the time of his offense the BMV hadn’t received notice of the 2010 conviction.

 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

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  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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