Change to public intoxication statute not retroactive

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A woman convicted of public intoxication may not receive relief from a change in the statute that took effect a day before her bench trial.

Clematine Hollingsworth was charged with misdemeanors public intoxication and disorderly conduct on May 12, 2012, after Indianapolis police responded to a complaint of women fighting at an apartment complex. She was convicted of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication at a July 2 bench trial.

On July 1, an amendment to the public intoxication statute, I.C. 7.1-5-1-3, took effect. The new law narrowed the definition of P.I. to include actions that endanger the person’s life or that of other people; breaches the peace or is an imminent danger to breach the peace; or harasses, annoys or alarms another person.

In Clematine Hollingsworth v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1207-CR-617, Hollingsworth argued that the statutory change was remedial and that not applying it in her case was fundamental error. The state argued the issue was never raised at her trial and the argument was therefore waived. The appeals court agreed.

“Hollingsworth had the opportunity to raise the issue of retroactivity before the trial court and failed to do so. The purpose of the contemporaneous objection rule is ‘to promote a fair trial by precluding a party from sitting idly by and appearing to assent to an offer of evidence or ruling by the court only to cry foul when the outcome goes against him,’” Judge Ezra Friedlander wrote for the court. “We decline to abandon the contemporaneous objection rule here.”



  • Retro
    I meant her lawyer should have raised the issue about the law not being retroactive. However, I don't think it should matter, if it is not, it should apply to her case retroactive. Being silent, is not waiving your rights or issues. A person can only waive an issue by stating that they wish to waive the issue, whatever it is.
  • PI
    A person, can't be charged with public intoxication, unless, they are on public property. Not raising the issue, is her lawyer's fault. Assuming she had a lawyer, why wouldn't she? Public defendrs are free. She needs to file for, ineffective counsel.

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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues