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Man has second chance to get OWI charges dropped

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A Jefferson County man who was brought to court for operating a vehicle while intoxicated more than two years after he was pulled over by police will get another chance to argue that his right to a speedy trial was violated.

The Indiana Court of Appeals has remanded to the trial court for a new hearing on a motion to dismiss in Michael E. McClellan v. State of Indiana, 39A04-1305-CR-248.
 
McClellan filed an interlocutory appeal after the trial court dismissed his motion to dismiss the charges against him. He had been arrested for drunken driving in February 2009. Seven months later in August, McClellan was pulled over for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Because his health prevented him from taking a breath test, McClellan consented to a blood draw.

On Dec. 23, 2009, McClellan pleaded guilty to the February operating while intoxicated charge and was sentenced to one year of home detention. On May 25, 2010, two days after it had received the toxicology report from the August arrest, the state charged McClellan with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor.

The court issued a summons to McClellan to his Milton, Ky., address even though he was serving his home detention in Hanover, Ind. When the summons was returned as undeliverable and McClellan did not appear for the initial hearing, the court issued an arrest warrant. McClellan was eventually served with the warrant in November 2012. A month later he filed a motion to dismiss, alleging his due process rights had been violated.

The Indiana Court of Appeals turned to the four-part test established by Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530 to determine whether there was a speedy trial violation. On the fourth factor – prejudice to the defendant – the Court of Appeals found the state had not had the opportunity to rebut the presumption of prejudice in this case.

Judge Margret Robb wrote for the court that if the state is able to rebut the presumption of prejudice, this factor may then weigh against McClellan in the analysis. Consequently, the Court of Appeals remanded for a new hearing.


 
 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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