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Argumentative passenger’s public intoxication conviction reversed

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A passenger in a car that a police officer stopped after seeing an arm and object hanging out of the car window, followed by the sound of shattering glass, was improperly convicted of public intoxication, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

The PI statute was revised in 2012 to require conduct elements along with intoxication for a conviction. The appeals court found former Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown erred in convicting Colton Milam of the Class B misdemeanor after a bench trial.

Milam argued with an officer and another passenger after acknowledging to the officer that he and another passenger had been drinking. Milam contended a bottle had been thrown from another vehicle, according to the record, and the officer said Milam profanely told his fellow passenger to tell the truth.

The officer later described Milam as loud, boisterous and uncooperative. He had removed Milam from the car and handcuffed him, contending the passenger was interfering with his investigation.

“Milam concedes that he was intoxicated in a public place. We believe, however, that reversing Milam’s conviction in this case is consistent with the purpose and spirit of the current public intoxication statute,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the panel in Colton Milam v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1312-CR-998.
 
“Prior to Milam’s arrest there is no evidence to indicate that Milam endangered his life or the life of another or disturbed the peace. The trial court declined to determine who threw the bottle from the window and found that it was immaterial to the decision,” Barnes wrote.

“Prosecuting and convicting Milam for being intoxicated, in a pulled-over car, while arguing with (the other passenger and officer) does not reach the level of disturbing the peace, harassment, annoyance, or alarm, and therefore does not meet the requirements of the public intoxication statute,” the panel concluded.
 

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  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.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  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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