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Court orders new trial in methamphetamine case

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a woman convicted of felony methamphetamine dealing, finding that the Hendricks Superior judge should have instructed the jury on a lesser-included offense of methamphetamine possession.

In Angela C. Garrett v. State of Indiana, No. 32A05-1105-CR-239, the appellate court examined a case involving a traffic stop in which Angela Garrett was a passenger. The driver told police he’d smoked marijuana that day and gave officers the remains of several joints. When police searched Garrett, they found two bundles of cash totaling $4,500, and in her purse they discovered a gun, two scales, small plastic baggies and material to cut methamphetamine and increase the volume. She also had a small pouch with about 26 grams of meth in three baggies, as well as a pipe, scale, and more small baggies. Another gun was found in the trunk.

Garrett first told police the drugs and weapons were hers, but later she said that the driver was the dealer, not her, and that he’d been physically abusive and had threatened to hurt her and her children if she didn’t tell police the drugs and weapons were hers.

Although Garrett asked at trial that the jury be instructed on the lesser-included offense of possession, the judge declined to instruct the jury and she was subsequently found guilty of Class A felony dealing methamphetamine and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals declined to accept the state’s position that Garrett had waived her challenge to the court’s decision not to instruct the jury because she hadn’t submitted a written instruction for the trial court to review.

A serious evidentiary dispute existed about whether Garrett had intent to deal methamphetamine, the appellate court ruled. Citing its own caselaw from 1996, the Court of Appeals determined that the jury should have had the option to hear about that lesser-included offense – even if it wasn’t required to believe Garrett.

The case is remanded for a new trial.

 

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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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